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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    February 20, 2013
    1:00 - 5:59am EST  

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>> let's talk about recent comments in canada, the u.s. ambassador to canada and find that more action by canada on climate change might make it easier for the president to approve keystone. how did you interpret those comments? >> i think it was another opportunity to talk about what we are doing. i believe for the president and for canada, it is both. you can actually improve energy security and in our neighborhood of north america and with vehicle emissions standards, coal plants standards, you will eventually see that in the united states. nobody is replacing a coal plant with coal again. they are replacing it with natural gas. it reduces emissions by 50%. i did not see that as a quid pro
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quo. when the secretary of state and our minister of foreign affairs met and had a press conference, they talked about both climate change and energy security. we talked about vehicle emissions standards. th minister talked about the action we've taken had the the united states on coal plants in canada. i closed down some coal plants. i thought it was good for our jurisdiction but i think energy efficiency is crucial. energy-efficient homes, buildings, cars, trucks. those are issues of aerospace and how to remake steps in that direction.
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i feel confident both canada and united states will achieve this copenhagen charter and achieve energy independence in north america by 2020. that is great for this neighborhood. >> what is the effect on the canada-u.s. relationship -- if the project is turned down? >> i don't think canadians will be impressed if the project is turned down. if it will do something to reduce greenhouse emissions in the united states, maybe you could make the argument. in terms of jobs estimates, we know 4,000 people today are working on the southern portion of the key xl project. so i will say more than 4000 will work on the upper portions.
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alberta has reduced its carbon intensity and emissions since 1990. industry is being driven to make improvements in technology in the way they use water and the way they get the oil out of the sand. it is not all about mining anymore. it's not enough, i am not apologizing for the carbon and tensity but you have to look accrued coming out of bakersfield, california. how does that relate to crude coming out of alberta? canadians would not be happy if the keystone is turned down, just as if it would not be happy if we have renewal will portfolio standards that do not recognize clean hybrid.
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keystone is the first option that -- first option to get the crude to the refineries. that does not mean it is the only option for canadians. there are least two pipelines to the west being looked at. there is one west east project. the market will determine how this goes. if we make the mistake of not doing this project, the oil will get to other places. where it will be refined in an environmental situation where it will be burned in cars that did not have anything close to the u.s.-canada standards. >> we all listen to the president's state of the ness
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address any talk about taking action on climate change if the congress did not act.-- state of the union address and talk about taking action on climate change if the congress did not act. obviously he is thinking about things other than the keystone. >> a lot of people have been watching. i think canadians would like to that agreement happen as well but has not. it has been a real frustration. as a result, we are not expecting congress to come up with an agreement. there has been a focus on what can president obama do? keystone is not the only thing we're talking about in the united states.
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there has been new regulation proposed. that will be where we can make an executive order happened urate also the executive opportunity does extend to keystone. the president has an opportunity there. looking at existing carbon pollution and united states, we have to tackle that. we look at keystone as future carbon emissions. the opportunity here is for the country to work on their climate target together. this should not be a finger pointing exercise. can canada and the united states meet their targets?
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i think canada has further to go but that can be done. >> the canadian government has said they're going to come out with regulations for the oil and gas sector. we are waiting to see what they are. if they came out with strong regulations that would meet those targets, what groups like yours say that is great? would it make any difference to the opposition to this project? >> we are interested in time a policy and the canada. we are very interested in those regulations and we will look closely. with all due respect to the
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ambassador, we do not view those kohl regulations as strong. -- coal regulations as strong.-- as not very strong. what we would like to see is some strong regulations around the oil sector. that would be very useful. we are looking at the u.s. focus, not just the canadian focus. >> there is a fantastic quote in the setup video -- i think the americans know how serious we are on climate change. the americans have noted that they were less stringent than the canadian industry have asked for. the natural resources minister said in the event the americans
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bring in a carbon tax, we will not. canadian policy on climate change has been to take whatever policy obama can get through congress. it was smart because as it turned out, he has not been able to get much through. in the past few months, the industry has indicated it will no longer take american policy on climate change. they have signaled we are willing to grab the competitive advantage that comes from having a dirtier energy sector the-- than the americans. >> those are characterization's that are easily disputed. i want to go back to the oil sands. when canada began developing them in the late 1960's, there
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was no way you could do without economic. this has been from the very beginning a very expensive project around research and innovation to get from the point you could extract the substance and refine it and sell it at a reasonably competitive price. at the same time, the emissions that are being caused by that are going down sharply. you now have with the most recent projects, a product that is on par with what is being produced in conventional sources. to pretend it is somehow a static element and is really dirty. nobody is turning themselves to the white house fence about oil
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coming out of california. you have to put it in that broad context. there is no country on earth have in the resource that canada has, that would fail to develop it. we cannot carry be needed. we need the jobs that come from it, the revenue. we can look as rationally. not because we are making it impossible for one preferred source to produce but we're finding ways to technology and to price signals. alberta has a carbon tax which
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is a current market rate about twice what it is in europe. we have to figure out how we do this together. the real challenge to prosperity and jobs in north america as not competing between us war among ourselves. it's looking around the world and say how we build a competitive base in north america? >> to pick up on those points, i totally agree that is a resource that no government can walk away from and say we will forgo this. you are seeing the pressure being greeted by the price differentials. that means government has returned to its major research to be able to start seeing if they can make up the difference. that pressure will keep growing.
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i do think the idea is we need to focus on the demand side and pushed the efficiency standards. not just in north america. we are working pretty hard at this. it takes a long time to turn over the stock. we also have to look globally. that is where the u.s. and canada can be working together. the demand for the future is in asia. that is where, if we become energy independent, it is not just producing more but we are consuming less. i've heard my bosses tell me that is what we need to be. we have to recognize is that global drive. climate change is a global problem. we need to focus on where we can have the greatest impact. >> what is the timeline for getting -- if we look at it in the context of some of the
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commentary coming from the united states, if you were to move forward on the regulations for the big emmitters. what is the timeline? is it let the between now and maybe june?-- is it likely to happen between now and june? >> you hear a lot of different reports about when the u.s. will make its decision on the keystone. it will be 90-120 days after the draft eis is issued by the state department. it was not issued today. you can make some calculations on timing. i've heard first quarter, second, third, fourth. i know they work very hard on getting the coal regulations.
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it will in essence close down every plant in canada. most coal plants will be gone in canada. i think they're working very hard on it. 2011, the state department reports on ghg's relative to american ghg's. had it at 17%. the latest numbers have it between 9% and 11% on average, lower the california thermal. comparable to venezuelan crude it is replacing.
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it was 10 to 1 20 years ago. the new technology is half a barrel to 1. ethanol is 3 barrels to 1 and that's a very important distinction between oil sands, which is half a barrel of water to 1 with the new technology. >> what's happening with our discussion tonight is what often happens in canada-u.s. relations. we tend to view a whole thing through a natural lens. -- narrow lens. there's so much muscle memory in the relationship that goes beyond this particular one project.
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in the days of the lumber wars, we got obsessed with lumber. the truth of the matter is, the relationship is pretty good. it is pretty gigantic. i think there are opportunities that we can look at. canada and the united states are both looking at how we do business in asia. if the fda was abiding and nasa -- if the fds was the wdeedding and nasa was a honeymoon, we might have a second honeymoon. it is all the needs of upgrading. it might be the way to do that. there might be ways to get some procurement deals. i didn't that there is a lot more to the relationship, including the way we deal with the relationship with the rest of the world. we have not talked about everything else we do around the
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world together in some of the troubled spots. there are real values that we share. >> in the context, we in canada -- there is a need to be a closer relationship between the prime minister and the president. we will move the conversation along, but this pipeline decision lies with the president. it will be something canadians can look to and say, he said no. i want to get a sense on how significant a dent that could put in the relationship if president obama says no to the keystone. >> i think it depends on how it
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is managed between the two leaders. this is a case in which the prime minister believes this is an important issue for canada. it was understandable in the context of the run-up to the presidential election campaign the last time that he was saying no and there were other issues that were more of a local nature as well at the site, it could be accepted as something that was more in the nature of the delay and a flat-out refusal. i think it will be meaningful. it will be important how it is explained if the answer is no. what is the justification? what is the reality that is perceived to come out of it? if their reasons are -- that
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will be found unacceptable and that would be a problem. >> in talking to canadian politicians, there are some things out of joint. a lot of it has to do with the suggestion that if canada were to do more on the climate change front, this might help us. canadian politicians are running around now that there is greenhouse gas admission in the air. they are going to great length to point that out. who is a real climate laggard if the u.s. is not serious on getting on this. >> that is the point. language is important. it can be a real problem.
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that relativity will be pointed to. given the breath of things, the things that we need to do together and the issues we need to tackle together has a common view. that ranges from foreign affairs to our common economic future. it would be unhelpful if this was more than just a bump in the road that became something that pushed us off the road. >> i think danielle wanted to jump in. before that, i get a sense of your questions in the audience. i see some hands. ok. if you change your mind and more want to ask, i will get to that depending on how much time is reserved. >> the decision around the keystone is not necessarily lateral. who will be point our finger at
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if the president makes a decision we do not like? canada has played a role in the whole debate. it is a conversation between two countries. if canada sits back and says we need to do a better job of a filing that environmental progress, that is a big question. certain the climate policy issues are perceived widely. canada has some of the weakest time it policies of many industrializations. i think canada has a role to play to step up and do something. that may play a decision to turn around and say if president obama makes a decision then we will be unhappy, i think that is a narrow view on the matter. >> when the prime minister and the president got together two
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weeks ago, they were talking about the discussion of how to keep the world safe for. we are talking about iran and the development of the nuclear capacity. they're talking about the situation in syria and where things are going. we're talking about libya. before and after the mission. we are talking about afghanistan. how can we move it to a place where soldiers are there moving from combat to training but by the afghan people? we are talking of issues of north korea. we spent 10% of our agenda on
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this. we're talking about how to improve be on the border and improve regulatory reform. a lot of what the two leaders do is talking about life-and-death situations in our neighborhoods and in the world. the media ask about the most immediate stories -- keystone and regulatory reform perhaps. that is not necessarily what takes up most of their time when they have their meetings in the oval office or in the state department building. >> scott, do you want to jump in and then louise has a question. >> there are state visits. presidential scholars look at who has the state visits.
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there were india, china, mexico, korea, germany. it would be a spectacular thing for canada and u.s. relations if the two agreed to host reciprocal states. one year it could have them come here and spent time with obama's then the next year they would go up there. it is symbolic. it is like in canada that where host the royals. you also remember your history and pay attention to the way -- we have not had one since 1997. surely you can do it with canada.
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the keystone is not approved, we cannot have this conversation. i'm for the keystone getting approved and the state visit if you do not mind. >> there you go. >> there was a moment in the presidential race during the republican primaries. i cannot remember who said it. one of the candidates talked about the keystone and set it to president obama to drive canada into the arms of china. i want to ask paul -- or in washington are skeptical about that. they say that they will send this oil to china, but will they get the pipeline built? what are you seeing on how likely this will be for a pipeline to the east coast or west coast anytime soon? >> there are substantial options.
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it is open. there are substantial opposition. it is not a vote-getter in british columbia where it needs to look at it. look at the rhetoric around the post keystone period. it was a little overheated. they tried to demonize environmental groups and stuff like that. there hasn't been a fundamental questioning, but there has been a sense that it was too hard. watching from afar, one of the things that stood out in the state of the union address tonight was what he said he read what he said.
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if we cannot get congressional action, we will take executive action. one of the actions he can take is reject the keystone pipeline. that would allow him to -- that is something that -- [talking over each other] >> it was really going to be on the broader climate change agenda. there are different bills in the house. there were five bills in the senate. my view is that they know the challenge in the united states for reaching their climate change targets. they also know that they have shale gas.
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they now that even the market is doing some of this for them. my interpretation of what he would do is that he did not have to declare to use executive power. my interpretation is different than yours on what he met. only one person knows for sure and that is the president. >> a couple of points. i find interesting new here this discussion on the president saying that he would take executive action and the interpretation from canada means no keystone. there is no linkage of saying he would take administrative action to reject the keystone. it is only that he is signaling anything about keystone. it is interesting that the two communities see it that way. it is important in the dialogue to step back from the rhetoric.
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everyone wants to say that it would go to china. many companies that you talk to are looking for alternative ways to send it to the gulf coast, because that is where it makes the most money. you do not want to ship it all the way to china. you do not want to have to go through the east coast and go through the panama amount all the way to china. you lose a lot more money. keep that in perspective. it means getting it to where the market is. >> let's pivot. let's talk a little bit about trade. it might be implications on energy and climate change on that as well.
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maybe we can start with what is the state of the relationship of trade between canada and the u.s.? looking for different partners and trying to expand. what are the long-term challenges and ramifications on seeking new partners? let's start with canada. >> we just had a meeting on friday with a number of people on transpacific partners. that includes the three countries and other countries in the americas and asia. the japanese prime minister is in washington this week. the discussion took on very well. 90% of the items on the table,
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we are fairly aligned with the united states in terms of our interest and mexico in terms of our views of north america. we want reciprocity and hopefully some national government could be a part of that so we do not have to buy america all the time. i'm not predicting that will happen. at least there is a table to discuss it. on the european union discussion, i'm pleased that canada is in negotiations and not in talks. negotiations means we are soon to be at an agreement with europe. it will not be easy going from talks to negotiations in the united states. there are things that will be complicated.
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i see that as a positive. there is a rule of law and reciprocity. i see them helping the united states, canada, and mexico. >> i think the future of trade between our two countries depends on a couple of things. one is the progress in sharing information to create more of a perimeter around the americas so we could have a freer flow. that matters. the more we can cooperate on security issues, that would allow commerce to flow. the other thing that does not get talked about a lot in the trading world, we do not talk about data.
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i think cross-date flows is the future. those are the areas that are under explored in terms of canada and the u.s. and how we approach the world together. that is where the future is. >> that is a good way to lead in to the point that we are here to talk about the significance of the border at a time when borders are becoming less and less significant. that is the currency of commerce information, knowledge, and experience. it does not matter where you are on the planet. you are engaged in global commerce. i do not think any business people get up in the morning thinking that way.
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i think it is more a question of how to take advantage of the fact that there is explosive economic growth occurring in asia. how does some of that benefit out here both in terms of talent and potential markets? that is something we do better together than as independent entities. >> the one thing i forgot to say is the gigantic conversation we're having about about immigration and comprehensive immigration reform. we can finally get to a reasonable consensus on immigration. there is a lot of bipartisan support on how to handle it. there is a conversation to be
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had with canada on who to let in and how to get them and if we send them back after their visa has become outdated. we need to cut the red tape and do everything we can do. there were canadian gas line crews ready to come. there is some bureaucratic red tape that an ambassador was able to handle. there are issues like that. how to respond to let workers cross? that is the larger issue of immigration that will impact our ability to do business and live as a civil society. >> david, did you want to weigh in on that? what do you see in terms of what changes you see now that the united states wants to deal with the european union? what consequences does that have on canada?
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>> well, let me stick to my area, which is the energy part of this. we have within -- the surplus gas that is appearing on the north american continent. one of the things we have to look for is ways that it will get used to a new productive end. chemicals, steel makers will return because they have access to lower prices. maybe we will build in north america because of the cheaper energy. there are opportunities for the markets that are being fed by lower energy costs that are important.
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on the natural gas space, we are limited in terms of the countries can export to. we're talking about natural gas exports. it has to be a country that we have a free trade agreement with. right now there is a a lot of debate as to whether we keep that gas at home to keep the rice down and stimulate industry or to allow the export do have exchange earnings. you could when the open up the market for which the government cannot say no. these are important pieces. >> what do you watch for as the two countries look at a trade initiative? >> these speeches from obama are being heard around the world.
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i think there are more significant. we need a transition to -- there are major economies going in the direction of low carbon. we are pushing the us to go in that direction. there is opportunity for canada to diversify its economy and become low carbon. and europe, they're looking at a directive. there is an opportunity i think to view the developments. is this a momentous change that we are looking at to start driving this? what does that mean for that relationship?
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i think the economic growth and the job opportunities are much bigger and greater than where we would find the fossil fuels sector. >> rupert murdoch, the guy who owns fox news and the wall street journal, he tweeted against of a keystone and said that we do not need. we have cleaner, natural gas from fracking. what is the implication of this domestic boom? what crowd out the need for energy from canada? what does it mean that the u.s. is talking about being energy
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independent? >> it was separated into two areas. natural gas and homes. we are looking at surpluses. to say whether it will crowd canadian gas out of the u.s. market, i think you will see u.s. gas finding its way into eastern canada and canadian gas finding its way into the midwest. there will be a rearranging of the pattern. we would have a significant amount of gas to produce. there will be a surplus to deal with overtime are really low gas prices. look at the oil side. natural gas has a long way to go to penetrate the transportation sector.
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until we can get that in the transportation sector either through efficient vehicles or natural gas, you will still see the need for the oil that will be flowing out of canada to come into the u.s. for quite some time. despite many optimistic forecasts, it will take a long time for the u.s. to develop resources to a point where it will be "energy independent." self-sufficiency is probably the right way to think of it. >> before we get off the trade part, has it become clear that the europeans and the americans are serious about -- there are some who say that canada should be a party to the european and u.s. talks. do you think that continent to continent partnership is feasible and desirable?
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>> i think we are close. we have been at it over two years. we are close. close is a tough word in negotiations. you either have an agreement or you do not. i think it will be a slower process in the united states than it will be in canada. we have dealt with some human rights issues that became something that colombians used with american congress and senate. my view is that we should try to conclude negotiations with
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europe. it will not be overnight. there are a lot of issues. when you negotiate with the europeans, that is 27 countries. >> may find it easier to deal among themselves. >> that is not entirely true. there are different rules. they have a different standard on agriculture. that becomes a geographical issue. >> if we have questions from the audience, it now would be the time to down to one of the microphones. we'll get to those in the next few minutes. >> i think the agreement because a template for a u.s.-europe agreement.
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a lot of it can be managed. it would make sense if we are looking out of europe to north america agreement. in a majority government, at least at the federal level, you have got the equivalent in every case. we are on a fast-track, let alone a possible discussion with europeans. that always makes negotiating a little bit anxious. it might be picked apart at the last minute. >> we have to hurry up and now that the president said it at the state of union address. i think it is a fantastic question. we talked about during korea as
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well. there was a sea trade agreement. it would be terrific if canada, the united states, and mexico use that as a model. we are unable to do that for realistic reasons. it is a great idea. >> what are those reasons? everyone in canada in favor of that approach? going with the americans on a broader trade deal? >> i would recommend to canada that we -- the prime minister would not recommend that we wait for the united states. >> europe has had many years building an institution that is capable of being the leader. we do not have that in north
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america. we have not thought about how those pieces would put together. great idea, but we are not there yet. it takes a number of years to try to build that. >> most issues when dealing with other countries on the pacific side, we have a lot of similar positions. >> we would worry about loss of sovereignty. >> any folks that have any questions, go to the microphones. if we run short on question time we might -- let's go here. >> i'm a student at queens university. my understanding would be that even if we were moving toward
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using less carbon, we would still need to use oil to appoint as we wean our way down. in importing and exporting oil to china or other countries, there is a significant amount of oil used in transportation. it would seem that the keystone pipeline makes the most sense. is the opposition toward the keystone pipeline itself a method of the oil production or something else that i might have missed? >> well, there are a couple of different issues around the keystone pipeline. it starts around the climate issue.
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that is the concern. there is not an argument that we will not be using oil tomorrow. this is about the future direction of the energy policy. if we are to make a major decision about a pipeline that the last 80 years and bring 800,000 barrels a day, should we be going in that direction? that is a question about that future. we talked about the pipeline. the real concern, that oil will not stop flowing. it is about the expansion and that the industry wants to grow. i used to live in alberta. there was a debate about the expansion. there were also issues around safety. >> we have time to get into that. >> ok.
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there are concerns about the transportation. it is basically tar sand mixed with other compounds. there are higher incidents. there is a debate disagreement on that. >> there is one right here. >> it is a good opportunity for us to talk. indications are that the pipelines have a higher instance to spill. a tar sand spill is farmer -- far more devastating than a conventional oil spill. we have major concerns about that and any regulations to deal with those types of spills.
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>> everyone wants in. >> not everyone has read the state department eis. i'm sure you have. >> i have. >> you read about the myths. one, pipeline safety. two, it's by far the most secure way and safest way with less emissions than pipelines on trucks and trains. there is no truth to a myth about oil going from canada to houston and having -- it is in the document, in the draft submitted by hillary clinton. third, dealing with the types of oils that is being studied. the scientists have also studied
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it. it is not a thought. there is science based on those three factors. >> absolutely. the pipeline being proposed has got to be the most studied pipeline ever proposed on the planet. i do not know if there is a valve at every hinge, but there are extra measures that they took on board because of the concerns raised on nebraska and other places. they have gone out of their way to ensure that a modern, high- tech pipeline with lots of extra features would be the state this possible way to get the oil to its destination.
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>> i do not want to prolong the argument about the myths and non=myths,, but back to the oil. let's say it was successful in not being exported somewhere else. there would still be hundreds of barrels coming from someplace else. it is important to realize that the amount of oil that will be consumed would be the same. that oil has its own risk associated with it. tankers are notoriously risky for bringing oil. i think we have to look at this on balance. it would mean taking that oil that would be produced in canada sending it to somewhere else. >> i think the worry some in is the notion that the worry some thing is the notion that this is really about the use of fossil fuels altogether.
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we might agree that it is better to reduce fossil fuel and everyone agrees that we need to work on getting to that point. that is not the result of stopping one particular source from one particular country. that is a much broader issue. including how you signal prices and how you want the man to be. -- want the demand to be. then they will know they are serious. >> it was not because barack obama was being elect did, but it was a state of nebraska that
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had a republican governor. they had a lot of safety questions about the route. they took their time. they have an alternative route. there are still some debate in nebraska whether that is good or not. i do not want to dismiss these questions. >> i'm with shaw communications. we have an interest in this development. i find some of this confusing. at first it was about the pipeline and now that there have been accommodations made by making adjustments in environmental concerns, i think it is ironic that the american
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environmentalists talked about fossil disasters and oil spills when the greatest disasters have been in the gulf of mexico. we do not feel we need to be reached -- preached to. there are debates about tar sands in canada, but i think there is resentment at having another country talked to us about this. there is a question -- if this is being developed in montana, would they still be an issue? >> davie, do you want to start? >> unfortunately, americans think they can push their will into many parts of the world. there would be resistance i'm
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sure to building a pipeline, but the question of whether or not it would go to the president, i -- that would not arise. >> i had to reiterate that a lot what canadians see and read about is what is in the news in canada. there is a lot of environmental debates and things going on in the united states that are not being reported on. it is a mistake to assume that keystone is the environmental issue. it is a u.s. decision on whether to bring the pipeline through the united states.
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it is not the united states imposing any will. if canada wants to develop this resource, why is the majority of british columbian still opposed for it going to the west coast? this is not just americans who are concerned about a development on a very high impact resource. canadians across canada -- i talked to on a regular bases that are concerned about the expansion plan. >> many look at keystone and take it personally. in the early days of protests and organizing against keystone, i talk to some leaders who are getting this going. why are you focused on this one pipeline and not on something else? they would say because it is up to the president. you cannot blame this on congress.
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you can i say tried, but republicans messed it up. this was an issue that he had 100% control over. the due process is the state department, but they make a recommendation and he calls the shots. they were focusing on the president. there are so few positions where he does have the ultimate say. it does not have to go through the power structure of washington. i think that point gets lost. here is a big project. he has control over it. we have some leverage. we think we can win. >> talking about public opinion, every public opinion has a 2-1 or 3-1 in favor of the pipeline. most americans have a commonsense view.
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they would rather get their view -- their oil from canada or venezuela or the middle east. every governor where the pipe goes through -- democrats and republicans -- supported.a majos voted for it even though the president has ultimate authority. 13 senators from the democratic party have signed a letter or voted for this pipeline. in terms of the united states, the public would prefer to get the oil from canada as opposed to venezuela and the middle east. it is not that complicated in terms of what is in the national interest of the united states. it is complicated in terms of the debate going on in washington. >> do you want to weigh in? >> no. i think that is exactly right. turning to what is happening with respect to transportation
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in canada is that misinformation has no nationality. at the same time, i would reiterate that the product will move. it might get into tankers. the question has to be asked whether that is practical for the route proposed going into the u.s. >> hi. and political and environmental activists. my mother is canadian and half of my family is canadian. this whole fracking and tar sands --we never think of bamboo, soybeans, the wind, the sun. why can't we not changed our minds from what we're used to? just keep using oil, oil, oil. why can we not just think of higher thoughts of renewable energy? we do not need to dig under the earth and make it bad. we do not want to totally destroy the year. -- earth.
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cannot think of higher levels of renewable energies in there? >> canada's lectures it is about 70% renewable. -- electricity is about 70% renewable. there was a proposal to have winds from on cannot go on a transmission line to another place. -- to have winds go from a transmission line to another place. it is being blocked. even when we get wind or solar or hydro, there is still opposition for people to transition. that is similar to what is going on with pipeline. even when you get renewables, you cannot take it from where it is being produced sometimes to where it is being consumed. >> if it because we are used to oil and getting oil everywhere? or is it because it is a new idea and nobody likes it? some people say, we are used to that. i really think if we get used to using wind energy and the
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water and the soybeans and bamboo, we could do many things to make this earth more friendly. we are lead in nuclear. countries behind us are still dealing with nuclear energy. >> we will get to humor questions. >> i appreciate your sentiment and activism. i understand how and orton the renewable debate is. an analogy -- i understand how important the renewable debate is. there is an analogy that it is a luxury. it should not be, but it is a little bit like healthy eating. when you try to eat organic and healthy food, it is more expensive to put that in your kids lunch boxes than it is to grab fast food. there is an obesity epidemic that has a lot to do with how affordable it is. you raise an port in question. it is incredibly -- you raise an important question.
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we need breakthroughs where it is affordable and something that could be implemented. >> really what we are talking about is the transition that we all want to make from the fossil based economy to a more renewable biomass, energy efficiency. to do that, it takes major decisions. part of that is making energy efficiency which canada and the u.s. have worked on. the real opportunity is what canada and the u.s. can do to drive that innovation and transition. it means making tough decisions. there are fossil fuel resources that are available.
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if we tackle the climate change issue, it will not be necessarily the future we have all been sold. there are tough decisions. they are often job creating. >> i'm a student at the university of ottawa. i have noticed that a lot of people back home are standing in solidarity with the people of the united states who want the pipeline. do you think that opinion of those canadians is coming from a canadian media or a politician or activist who have legitimate concerns? or is that a result of the information coming from the united states and the environmental movements and the protests down here? if it comes from the united states, is that a problem that canadians are may be their opinions about foreign policy issues from other countries media sources?
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>> anyone want to jump in on that? >> i'm often invited on radio stations and they ask what they think about such and such. they disagree on stuff. the danger with coming down from ottawa and asking how the americans and canadians are getting along is that they are both complex societies. the relationship is personified in a single combat symbolism with the president and the prime minister. as ambassador knows, it is more complex than that. very often, the winning game is to play american domestic interest and hope to take advantage and vice versa. as for getting news from american sources, it is an excellent gift.
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[laughter] >> i will not disagree with that. >> question here. >> thank you for your time. i'm a canadian that is going to grad school in washington.
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can you spend a few moments and giving me your opinion on what the stakes are for president obama? is this a high-stakes issue? does he risk alienating the key environmental support? or is he not really at risk? >> thank you. >> that is a good question. the easy questions never come to the president' desk. he has nothing but difficult decisions to make. the stakes are high. the stakes are high because the environmental community has been pretty unified on this issue. canada is very forceful on this issue. congress has gotten into the act. he has got to balance all sorts of political constituencies along with the reality that every dollar that you invest sense certain -- sends a certain amount of cents. it is personally his decision to make. before the election, he was able to delay it. let's say he will fast-forward a portion. that was a pretty deft political move.
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>> it was also about labor. a lot of labor. they worked hard for the president's reelection. many of them were tough so- called swing states. many of them are working on proposal to take veterans that are coming back from afghanistan and having helmets to hard hats an important program. there'll be many coming back to the united states. i get that if you look at all of the security in the united states, they are saying that this is good for u.s. security
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to not be dependent on the turmoil that we see every day in the middle east. there is security for the us in terms of energy security. there is employment for workers. there are returning veterans that need jobs and training. he is also looking at a number of things he will do on the environment. he'll make on the environment. there is opportunity for energy independence from the middle east and to fill his commitment. i think he has the ability to do both.
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>> if he approves the pipeline, he has got to do something significant. he has got to give them something. >> listen carefully to the speech. he is not against the carbon economy per se. he has to deliver something. >> we will give our closing statements. i apologize to the gentleman at the microphone. a couple of minutes to sum up.
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>> the decision on any large issue will be on practical and symbolism. we have seen that tonight. the keystone represents the equivalent of 6 million new -- on american highways. the ambassador was very good and saying to put good oil in. i often say the issue be that chicken coming into roost. he ran against and environmentalists in 2008. there was a carbon tax. he is working to do it a third time. he spent his entire political career defeating environmentalists. now he needs a favor from one. that one lives at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. >> i think candidate could make this easier for the president. he has to deliver something on climate. they would like to see more concrete steps being taken.
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here are concerns. they have to show that they are taking it seriously. it might mean taking some harsh regulations. that would cost them a lot politically. it is controversial to do that. that is an alternative step that he could take. >> we started on keystone and have ended on keystone. maybe that is right. thank you for being with us in washington this evening. thank you to our panelists for being here. great to have you here. thank you to all of you watching at home. thank you to our friends at c- span for carrying this program to our friends in the united states this evening. thank you. see you back here in washington
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a couple of years to now. good night. [applause] [applause] [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] the >> coming up -- >> on the next "washington journal" --
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>> tomorrow, john kerry syllabuses first major speech since his confirmation as secretary of state. 11:00 a.m. eastern here on c- span. >> the communism of china is communism in name-only these days. they basically through most ideology aside and opened the country up. it is a capitalist haven now. communism in china, they talk in great length about marxism, but it is all about preserving the party's power economically as
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the country continues to grow. in north korea, it is all about preserving the power of the military and the kim dynasty. has nothing to do with what marxism is. how it emerged as something different than communism. it was a fascinating split. >> keith richburg with insights from wrong world. sunday at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." >> tuesday, president obama urged a -- republicans to back a
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plan by democrats that would offset the sequestered. this is 10 minutes. [applause] >> thank you. good morning, everybody. welcome to the white house. as i said in my state of the union address, our top priority should be doing everything we can to grow the economy and create good jobs. that is our top priority and it drives every decision we make and it has to drive the decisions that congress and everybody in washington makes over the next several years. that is why it is so troubling that 10 days from now congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite. it will not help the economy. it will not create jobs.
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it will visit hardship on a lot of people. here is what is at stake. over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficit i more than $2.5 trillion. more than two thirds of that was through some really tough spending cuts. the rest of it was through raising taxes, tax rates on the wealthiest 1% of americans. together, when you take the spending cuts and increased tax rates on the top 1%, it puts us halfway to the goal of four dollars trillion -- $4 trillion in deficit reduction. congress also passed a law in 2011 saying that if both parties cannot agree agree on a plan to achieve that goal, about one trillion dollars of additional, arbitrary budget cuts would take effect this year. and the design was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that democrats and republicans
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would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth. so, this was all designed to say we cannot do these bad cuts, let's do something smarter. that was the point of this so- called sequestration. unfortunately, congress did not compromise. they had to come together -- have not come together to do their job and we have these brutal cuts boys to happen next
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-- poised to happen next friday. if this meet: -- meat cleaver approach takes place, it will this a rate investments in education and medical research, and it will not consider whether we are cutting a bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that americans depend on every single day. it does not make those decisions. emergency responders, like the ones that are here today, their ability to help will be degraded. border patrol agents will see their hours reduced. fbi agents will be furloughed. federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays in airports across the
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country. thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids. hundreds of thousands of americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings. already, the threat of these cuts has forced the navy to delay and at craft carrier that was supposed to deploy today persian gulf. as military leaders have made clear, changes like this, not well thought through, not phased and properly, affect our ability to respond to threats in unstable parts of the world. these cuts are not smart, not fair, will hurt our economy and add hundreds of thousands of americans to unemployment rolls. this is not an abstraction. people will lose their jobs. the unemployment rate might take up again. that is why democrats, the publicans, business leaders and he can't -- republicans, business leaders and economists have already said that these
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cuts are a bad idea. they are not good for our economy. they are not how we should run our government. here is the thing, they do not have to happen. there is a smarter way to reduce deficits without harming our economy, congress has to act in order for that to happen. now, for two years i have offered a balanced approach to deficit reduction that would prevent these harmful cuts. i outlined it again last week at the state of the union. i am willing to cut more spending that we do not need. get rid of programs that are not working. i have laid out specific reforms to entitlement programs that could achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the
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bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. i am willing to save hundreds of billions of dollars by enacting comprehensive tax reform that gets rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected without raising taxes. i believe -- tax rates. i believe such a balanced approach that combines tax reform with additional spending to form done in a smart, thoughtful way is the best job to finish the job of deficit reduction and avoid these cuts once and for all that could hurt our economy, slow our recovery and put people out of work. most americans agree with me.
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now, the house and the senate are working on budgets that i hope reflect this approach. if they can not get such budget agreement done by next friday, the day these harmful cuts begin to take effect, then, at minimum, congress should pass a smaller package that would prevent the harmful cuts, not to kick the can down the road come a but to give them time to work on a plan that finishes the job of deficit reduction in a sensible way. the cretin in the house and the senate have proposed such a plan, a balanced plan that pairs spending cuts with tax reform, and closes loopholes to make sure billionaires cannot pay a lower tax rate than their secretary. i know republicans have proposed plans as well, but so far they ask nothing of the wealthiest americans or biggest corporations, so the burden is on first responders, seniors, or middle-class families. they doubled down, in fact, on the heart -- harsh, harmful cuts
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that i outlined. so far what they have expressed is a preference where they would rather have these cuts go into effect then close a single tax loophole for the wealthiest americans -- not one. that is not balanced. that is like democrats saying we have to call -- close deficits without any spending cuts. that is not the position democrats or i have taken. it is wrong to ask the middle class to bear the full burden of deficit reduction and that is why i will not sign a plan that harms the middle class. so, now republicans in congress face the choice -- are they willing to compromise to protect vital investment in education, healthcare, national security and all the jobs that depend on them, or would they
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rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our economy at risk to protect a few tax loopholes that benefit the largest corporations and wealthiest americans. that is the choice. do you want to see first responders lose their jobs to protect special interest tax loopholes? are you willing to have teachers laid off were kids not have access to -- or kids not have access to headstart, or deeper cuts in student loan programs just to protect a special interest tax loophole that the vast majority of americans do not benefit from? that is the choice. that is the question. this is not an abstraction. there are people's lives at
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stake, communities that will be impacted in a negative way, and a lot of times this squabbling in washington seems abstract, and in the abject people like the idea -- there must be spending we could cut, waste out there. there absolutely is, but this is not the right way to do it. my door is open. i put tough cuts and reforms on the table. i am willing to work with anybody to get this job done. none of us will get 100% of what we want, but nobody should want the cuts to go through because the last thing our families can afford right now is paying imposed unnecessarily by ideological rigidity here in washington.
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the american people have worked too hard, too long, rebuilding from one crisis to seek elected officials cause another one, and it seems like every three months there is a manufactured crisis. we have more work to do than chu -- than to just try to dig ourselves out of self-inflicted wounds. while a plan to reduce our deficit has to be part of the agenda, but deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. we learned in the 1990 costs when bill clinton was president that nothing shrieks of deficit faster than a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs. that should be the focus, they can america a magnet for good jobs and equipping our people with the skills required to fill those jobs and that their hard work leads to a decent living. those are the things we should push ourselves to think about every day.
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that is what the american people expect. that is what i will work on every single day to help deliver. i need everybody who is watching today to understand we have a few days. congress could do the right thing. we could avert just one more washington-manufactured pop him that slows our recovery -- manufactured problem that slows our recovery and that would do right by first responders, america's middle class, and what i will be working and fighting for over the next few weeks and years. thank you very much, everybody. thank you for your service. [applause] [applause]
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>> following president obama's remarks, house speaker john boehner released a statement -- >> bowles-simpson or in
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washington today. this is 40 minutes. >> all of you following us on twitter, happy to have you here for the simpson-bowles playbook breakfast, appearing together, senator alan simpson and former house chief of staff erskine bowles. before we welcome them, i would like to say thank you to the bank of america for their partnership. the politico playbook breakfast is grateful for these are conversations here.
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on twitter, playbook breakfast, and i have a question up here. i will be taking your questions here. we would like to welcome senator simpson and mr. bowles. good morning and welcome to playbook breakfast. [applause] >> that is it. mr. bowles, you have soup on your tie. why is that? >> on behalf of america, for the people, by the people. everybody wants to know how you can entertain the fact that you want to cut medicaid and social security. [indiscernible] we would not have to have this conversation. tax refunds. pay your fair share taxes. a your fair taxes. america wants to know. pay your fair taxes. pay your fair taxes.
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pay your fair taxes. pay your fair taxes. pay your fair taxes. pay your fair taxes. >> this is a practical document, what you like -- i would have liked to have done and there were two pieces of news in it. one is that this is getting more expensive and will cost about $5 trillion. >> i am a retired civil engineer, i paid in the social security system all my life. >> we will bring you in the conversation. >> the cuts to medicare and social security have to stop. we want the corporations to pay their fair tax share. stop cutting jobs. pay your fair taxes.
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do not cut from here. [indiscernible] >> i agree very -- agree. >> 12.3 million americans -- >> they will address your point. [indiscernible] >> we need good jobs now. we need good jobs now. pay your taxes. we need good jobs now. pay your taxes. we need good jobs now. >> go ahead and address his point. >> if you look at the plan we are putting forward we call for broadening the base and simplifying the code in an aggressive manner. if you look at where the tax expenditures are paid, they are
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generally paid by people in the upper income brackets so in a progressive manner they will increase. >> that is not true. we have major corporations, and you are part of that, not paying their fair share. >> we need good jobs now. we need good jobs now. [indiscernible] >> we are really serious about this. >> so am i. >> all right. the second point i would make is if you look at what we are doing with social security, we give people between 81 and 86 and annual bump up. that is when most private plans run out. we have tried to be sensitive to this. the second principle is we do
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not want to do anything that hurts the truly disadvantaged, and we do raise the minimum payment on social security. >> in this plan you make it clear that neither side is doing enough. approaches so far have been band-aids. this is designed to be something that can be enacted. what needs to happen to create a runway that actually gets a deal? how do you create an environment where something big could happen? >> for us, what we felt that the end of last year was a disappointment like no other that i have ever experienced. we felt that was the magic moment. it was the time where we had the best chance to do something
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serious about long-term fiscal reform and responsibility and we felt it was a lost opportunity. as we have looked back on it, it has become clearer to us that if we are going to get a bipartisan deal we will have to push both sides to get out of their comfort zone and make the kind of compromises we need to make to get something done. >> senator simpson, what is the point of no return? you have been talking for a long time to convince people this is a problem that needs to be addressed. when is the tipping point? when will people really feel it? >> you will note how sweet i have been in the last few minutes, which is not my trait, however,, being a pugnacious old coupe from the university of wyoming, having been another 20 years younger, i would have been invigorated, but i still
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am. let me tell you, if anybody can not understand what we are trying to do, and cannot understand the sequester will do total disruption because it does not drive the engines driving us into -- touch the engines driving us into eternity, the drag of healthcare, it cannot work. it is on automatic pilot. if anybody can not understand what we trying to do with social security to make it solvent for 75 years they are lost in the swamps. the trustees of the system, wonderful americans, democrats and republicans alike, are saying that if you do not do something to restore the solvency of the system, which is $900 billion in negative cash flow right now, and you will waddle up to the window in the year 2031 and get a check for 25% less, you have to have
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rock for brains not to figure that out. if you are 81, figure this out. when i was 15 years old i put five dollars into social security and the cody bakery, making those sweet rolls -- i will never eat another one in my life -- that i putting in the army. then i practiced law for over 18 years, and i never put in more than $874 a year, then it went to $2000 a year, $3000 a year, self-employed. in 1984 when we were missing for this -- with this, the guide a retired got everything back in the first five years. there were 16 people paying into the system, and today there are 1 -- three people take -- paying into the system, and one taking out. the retirement age was at 65 because life expectancy was 63. now, life expectancy is 78.1, and in three years will be 80. wake up.
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forget the emotion, fear, guilt, racism and all the crap that goes with this, and use your brain, for god's sake. >> the point of no return? >> i do not think anyone knows when the tipping point will come, you will know it when it hits us. >> are we talking two years or 20 years, or 200 years? >> it could be two years.
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what we do know is the economy never moves as fast as you think it will but once it acts it quicker than you ever thought was possible. today, we are the best looking horse in the glue factory. we have the fed out there keeping interest rates really low. we are spending $230 billion a year on interest. that is more than we spend at the department of commerce, education, energy, homeland security, interior, justice, state -- actually, more than all of them combined and if interest rates were where they were in the 1990 pounds, we would beast -- 1990's, we would be spending $600 billion that we can not spend on research or infrastructure to make sure the
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jobs of the future are here and not somewhere else. >> i wrote down the tipping point, because i have not answered that question. dick durbin kept asking this question during our eight months -- "where is the tipping point?" i cannot tell you where it is, but the money guys -- erskine bowles is one of the money guys -- the tipping point comes when the people that have loaned us the money -- we always $16.4 trillion, and what we did last month will take us to $20 trillion in 10 years. the tipping point is when the people who loaned us the money, have to that is private, and
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the other half is public, and half of that is china. the tipping point comes when the people who have loaned us the money -- one people -- one of the presidential candidates said forget the money. that is a great idea except for the people that loaned you the money. you are addicted to debt, you have proven that, and people that have a dysfunctional government, and we will prove that again when we go to a sequester. at that point they will say we want more money for our money, and at that point inflation will pick up, interest rates
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will go up, and the guy did get screwed the most is the little guy, the middle class that everybody babbles about day and night is the guy that is going to get hammered. the money guys will always take care of themselves. what an irony to listen to the distortion, the emotion, the stuff that goes on. we just keep plowing ahead. it is fun for me to irritate the aarp and grover norquist in equal measure. it makes your life worthwhile. they are out there, saying we will be savaged.
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anything we do, we will be savaged. >> senator simpson, when was the last time you talked to president obama? >> erskine is nearby. i talk with joe biden on the phone. i have known him for 40 years. a great pal. we do not always agree, but a good man and i love him. i suppose it has been about a year and a half since i talked to the president, but erskine has the ability to do that close by. >> when was the last time you talked to the president? >> right before the election. i have talked to vice president biden since the election and members of the white house team constantly, whether it has been jack lew or -- >> it is remarkable that you have not talked to the president since the election. >> i do not think it is
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remarkable. these guys have a lot on their plate. >> if joe biden were president would we have had a grand bargain? >> who knows? if bill clinton were president, would we have had a grand bargain? we need a grand bargain and both parties need to move out of their comfort zones. >> let's talk about those two sides. we will start with what you are asking democrats to do -- and needs to be $600 billion in deficit reduction from health savings. the last offer from the white house was $400 billion. you say they need to do quite a bit more. >> they do need to do quite a bit more if we are going to slow the rate of the growth of health care. >> how do you convince them? they will argue that they have been aggressive. how will you convince them that that will not get the job done?
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>> we have to convince americans they need to do more on health care than they have been willing to do to date, and republicans have to do more on revenue than they have already done. >> specifically, you say there needs to be more revenue from tax reform, whereas republicans have talked about that being revenue neutral. >> that will not get the job done. if we do not do something on the revenue side it puts too much harsher on the rest of the operations -- too much treasure on the rest of the operations of the country and we have to make cuts that are too big in either income support or cuts in areas we need to invest in to be competitive in a knowledge- based, global economy -- things like education, infrastructure and research. yes, we are recommending that the $2.4 trillion is step one. we recommend that one quarter comes from revenue, one quarter
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from healthcare cuts, and the remainder from cuts in other mandatory spending, discretionary spending, interest on the bed, and going to the change cpi. >> what is the most important change that needs to be made to entitlements? >> we need to stabilize the debt and keep it on a downward path. >> specifically, what mechanical change needs to be made to entitlements? >> a lot of things need to be done. i would not say just one thing. we need to have more cost- sharing with appropriate protection for low income beneficiaries. we need to have means testing. we need to get serious about population aging. we need to have tort reform. we need to have savings from
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what we pay to drug manufacturers and we need to pay for quality rather than quantity. all those are important. >> and you have to take care of the guy who pays for the building who does not even get a bill. anyone who believes we can get these health care systems to work, you can take care of a 3- year-old with disabilities who can live to 60, you have diabetes a and b endemic -- if we do not pay attention to this aging issue, nothing will work. we got to do something with tort reform. i am an old trial lawyer. my son says, pop, what happened to you? you got to do something with doctors. you cannot keep doing a doc fix. last time we did this, it was in the law.
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it will cost us $220 billion over the next 10 years. this baby is on automatic pilot. it is extraordinary people say you cannot touch medicare and social security -- you did not have to give a tax increase to gain the ire of grover. you do not have to do that. you go into the tax code and you say, guess what -- you want a stimulus? everyone says, what the hell do you think a deficit of $1 trillion-plus is? that is what a stimulus is, and we have done over a trillion bucks over the last four years. going into the tax code and ripping around in it, fun to do that, that will irritate everyone. there are 180 of those babies in there. >> 180 what? >> tax expenditures in the tax code.
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they are loopholes or deductions, all the works, and guess what -- only 20% of the american people use 80% of them. run that through your gourd again. only 20% of the american people use 80% of them. only 27% of the american people itemize on their tax return, which means 3/4 americans have never heard of those. who is using them? me? you? the media? anyone who has a few bucks is using those babies, and they suck $1 trillion-plus out of the treasury each year. >> do you believe tax reform this year is possible?
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>> yes, i think max baucus and dave camp are trying to do something, and they know what to do, but the heat is on. tax reform, you want to mess around with home mortgage deduction, blue cross, blue shield -- play the game. 180 of those out there, and they are solidly in the grasp of somebody who is going to go to their congress person this trip around who they have maxed out on every primary and on every general and they will come to them this year and say, we have never asked you for a thing, but, pal, we're here to ask you do not let this happen. it took us years to get that into the tax code, and if you let that out, with all we have done for you -- and, boy, that is where the hammer is coming this year. >> there is a headline that says "employers size up fines to avoid insuring staff under obamacare." they are calculating whether it is making more sense to pay the fine. that will shift a huge cost
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burden to the exchanges. are you worried about that? >> i am worried about the cost of health care. >> as we travel around the country and we talked to various business people, they are worried about the increased costs and they are shifting some people to less than 35 hours, taking a lot of steps that they do not have to cover, people that they have been covering, particularly in retail. i have anecdotal information, so i cannot give you any economic data, but i can tell you i've seen a good bit of it as we have traveled around the country. >> people saying they are going to try to avoid obamacare by cutting back hours or by paying fines? >> correct. one of the consequences is people will be shifted to exchanges, and increased cost, and that is why we want to bring down health care and make recommendations for the cuts that we have in the health care program in order to slow the rate of growth of health care on a per-capita basis to the rate of growth of the economy. >> a small business person said how much will the fine be? they told her, and she said, to hell with that, i will pay that, and move on.
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>> do you think people will feel like she does? >> anybody who is employing anybody or trying to do jobs and all the stuff that everybody is really talking about and should know you have to do something with this health care system. it is going to continue and what we have determined as automatic pilot, and we have said let's lop $400 billion and let it not go over 1% of gdp. you should put something in there with triggers and restraints, not letting this thing go up over 1% of gdp a year, which drives it in a hole. >> there are two sides -- anybody in this room who does not think 35 million people who do not have health care insurance do not get health care, you are wrong. they're getting health care, just getting it today at the emergency room at five times or eight times the cost of being in a doctor's office. it gets shifted and gets cost shifted to you in the form of higher taxes and insurance costs.
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>> there is an assumption among the editorial pages of america among reporters that when president obama gets the opportunity to do the right thing on entitlements, that he will, he will be willing to make his party do tough things. but we do not know that for sure. how confident are you that this president will do the right thing on entitlements if he gets the chance? >> he ran on this in the election, and he intends to do it. incrementally, perhaps. >> why wait? >> i am answering your question, which is a good thing. [laughter] he knows what to do, and if he
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does not get a handle on the entitlements and the solvency of social security, he will have a failed presidency, and if he wants to have a legacy of fdr ii, whatever that drives him, that is fine with me, but he will have a failed presidency unless he deals honestly with
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the entitlements programs without cutting the poor and the wretched and all the rest and all this stuff. and getting something for social security, then his scorecard in years to come was he failed. i do not think he wants that at all. he is too smart. but the president is going to have to make these really tough cuts in health care spending. he is going to have to take the actions that make social security sustainably solvent. he is going to have to make additional cuts in the defense and non-defense budget, and he will make those tough decisions, but republicans in the house are also going have to make a tough decision, and that is we have to reform the tax code which everybody wants us to do, but we're happy to use a small percentage of that money to reduce the deficit, so it does not destroy too much of the operating structure of the country.
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>> the one person in the white house and that republican leadership who is most authentically committed to making these tough choices? >> the one person in the white house most authentically committed to making these choices is the president. i have met with him several times. i believe he is willing to make these cuts that we have to make. that does not mean i do not want to continue to push him out of this comfort zone, to go for what he might want to do otherwise. we're going to have to push him if we are going to get a deal with republicans, and we are going to push republicans to do that tax reform that allows us to do the deficit in the same manner. >> how do you push a president?
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>> the way i have done it is speaking candidly, not agree, but tell him what you think, and why. this is a smart guy. he will understand it and make the right decision at the end of the day. >> or we could turn joe biden was on and, because he came to the senate when joe was there as a senior member, and joe took him under his wing, and he listens to joe, as you would with a senior colleague, and joe is always pulled out of the hat, the rabbit in the hat, to do something, and that is the role joe has. joe has a remarkable ability to communicate with him.
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>> thank you. richard fallon is the junior professor of constitutional law at harvard law school. he also earned a ba degr from oxford university, where he was a rhodes scholar. he served as a law clerk to justices of the united states supreme court and has written extensively about constitutional and federal courts law. he is the author of several books. we are very grateful for him to part -- for participating.
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andrew koppelman is the john paul stevens professor of law at northwestern university. he received his bachelor's from the university of chicago and his jd and phd from yale law school. his scholarship focuses on issues at the intersection of law and political philosophy. he is the author of "defending american religious neutrality," and several other books. and more than 80 articles and scholarly journals. sherif girgis is a phd student in philosophy at princeton university and a jd candidate at yale law school. after graduating from princeton , where he won prizes for best senior thesis in ethics and philosophy, as well as the dante society prize, he obtained a degree from the university of oxford as a rhodes scholar.
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he is the author of a recent book "what is marriage," described as the most formidable defense of traditional marriage ever written. we are grateful to him for participating in this event. >> thank you so much for the introduction. thanks, everyone, for coming. a special thankso professor koppelman. i have a pleasure of speaking on the panel with him before. i not only respect his work a great deal, but his election -- intellectual integrity. he is willing to examine the assumptions behind views a lot of people are willing to treat as dogma. that is something very admirable. to be moderated by professor fallon, whose casebook i have to read tonight, is a little bit surreal and very much an honor. beuse the discussion we're having today is is one that is not often had in the way we are having it, i thought it would be
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useful to just start by saying what i'm not going to say. it is very easy to hear what we assume is associated with a view rather than what is actually being said. a quick summary of that is that i am not arguing for morality, from religion, or from tradition. none of my arguments presuppose anything about the moral status of gay relationships. there are lots of valuable relationships that do not get recognized as marriage by anybody. that cannot be the decisive factor. they do not rely on any particular religious tradition. if they did, it would still leave something to be desired because something i will defend today has been common to religions across time and many cultures. we would still want to ask the question of what common feature was motivating those theologies rather than the other way around. and i am not arguing that because it has always been this way it always should be. another thing is that my argument cannot be answered by
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appeals to equality. we usually think that this is the right response when we think of the marriage debate as a debate about whether to expand or restrict a pool of people elible for marriage. it is true that from that perspective it looks like marriage is a good thing and should be available on an equa basis. i think that this debate is actually about a prior question. a debate about what marriage is, and why the states involved in the first place, which has implications for which unions get recognized as marriages. my proposal is that the main vision of marriage on offer in support for same-sex marriage is mistaken. it is wrong about what marriage is. in other words, it cannot explain much less controversial features we all agree that sets marriage apart from other bonds. second, enshrining that
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different vion of marriage in the law and therefore over time in our public opinion and in culture and practice would be harmful to the common good, in particular for the common good that gets the state involved in marriage in the first place. in light of both of those things, the mainstream argument for same-sex marriage actually has a lot of internal contradictions that are rarely examined a i think create just the kinds of problems for the same-sex marriage view that most proponents think in terms of justice. what is that vision of marriage on offer? you could think about it by asking, if we recognize a relationship of any two people in loveut not other forms of relationships, what sets those apart? what is it that makes two men in love get married in new york different from two brothers who never stop living together, and who nobody would call married? when you think of it that way,
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you see what sets marrge apart is a certain kind of emotional union or intensity or priority. my claim is that that vision of maryland -- marriage collapses the distinction between marriage and the much broader category of companionship. it cannot explain any of the less controversial features we both still agreed set marriage apart. for example, most of us think that unlike other forms of friendship, marriage has to be pledged to permanence. but if what sets it apart is that kind of emotional union or intensity of regard, there is no reason, none other than an irrational attachment to tradition, why we should pledge to permanence as opposed to remaining together as long as th uon, that emotional union lasts. or sexual exclusivity. depending on temperament or taste, perhaps for some couples sexual exclusivity fosters emotional union, and for others
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some degree of agreed-upon outlets would foster it better. that too, which most of us think is what makes a marriage, would be at best contingent. same thing is true of the idea of marriage as a union of two peop. if the emotional union of a certain sort makes a marriage, it is true that two man as well as a man and woman can have it. but the same is true of three men. we are not talking about polygamy, but just the idea of plural marriage. "newsweek" tells us there are 500,000 polyamorous relationships in the us. i think there is no relevant distinction between those and two man in love. both have the emotnal union and have what makes a marriage. even the idea that it is a sexual relationship, perhaps the least controversiapart of most people's vision of
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marriage emma becomes harder to explain. if all that contributes to marriage is a certain fostering ofmotion and tenderness, then it is hard to see why sex is crucial, why it is not replaceable depending on temperament or taste, with other forms of activities or intimacy. that is some of the reason i think this marriage -- a vision of marriage gets marriage wrong. it misunderstands the human we have after. you might ask what difference it makes, why it is not just enshrined, this alternative vision of marriage in the law? i think to get a handle on that question we have to first ask why we recognize marriage at al. a puzzling thing. usually the less personal a relationship is, the more the state is involved. our business partnerships, but not so much our best friendships. why marriage?
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why that personally viable form of tenderness and lovely, rich? i think your history is a useful heuristic. we have almost every society with -- socially regulating the sexual relationships with men and women. those sexually relation -- sexual relationships alone produce new human beings, require years of commitment from the parents. in order to reach physical and psychological and emotnal maturity. every aspect of the common good, every institution of civil society, the economy itself, and the states, depend on that kind of maturity but cannot themselves provided. as well as the stabling commitment of a mother and father. that is what gets the state involved in marriage. it is the social need to promot the stabilizing norms. it is those very stabilizin
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norms that i say are undermined in principle, and then over time, in practice, as we internalize the idea that marriage is just companionship, that it has no more internal requirements and companionship does, which is a very broader category. note what this highlights. this suggests that, if the norm of sexual complementarity is arbitrary, just a traditional holdover, en so is permanence. so is exclusivity. so is monogamy. why do i say that? very often people say, we n cross those bridges when we get there. you do not have to worry today about polyamorous relationships and so on. i think the logic of those positions does not allow that answer. the logic of their position is that what makes a marriage's
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emotional union is arbitrary, requiring sexual commentary, which is not essential to that -- by the same token iis equally arbitrary to require permanence. this is not just a point conservatives make. it is one that is increasingly made by the leaders of the movement for same-sex marriage. dan savage, a very sympathetic "new york times" profile has in several pages talking about how the norm of sexual exclusivity is just as arbitrary and in some cases just as harmful as the norm of commentary. you have activists who are lgbt allied saying justice requires recognizing not just same-sex relationships, but multiple partner unions, multiple
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household unions, nonsexual unions, and so on. they in green -- agree increasingly that if sexual c omplementarity arbitrary, so are other norms. they only disagree that disentangling this for marriage is a good thing. at this stage you mht ask yourself, what is the alternative? what is this other vision of marriage? that is what we try to sketch at some length in the book, but i can give you a summary of it here. it is a vision that i think you might recognize as being reflected in the judeo-christia tradition, but also reflected to a great extent in the muslim tradition. not just in the monotheistic traditions, but also in the work of someone like gandhi. not just in western or eastern religions, but in the common law. in many phases of ancient greek
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and roman law. in ancient greece and rome, the thinkers, socrates, aristotle, the stoics, people with no connection to judaism or christianity. that makes it worth listening to at least. the way i would summarize is that on this vision, marriage is a comprehensive unn. in all the ways that make a community at all, the community we understand as marriage is comprehensive. any form of community, i think, is made by a union of a partner with respect to certain goods in the context of a commitment. it is activity toward common and. in those respects, marriage is comprehensive. the union is comprehensive at the levels of the partners united, not just heart and mind, but heart, mind, and body. bodily union means what it means
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within an individual. parts of my body or yours are one. they are all actively courted nave toward a single and -- end. that unity is possible between two people, but only the sexual act of a man and woman, where bodies are actively courted toward a single en,d, reproduction of the whole that encompasses an him both. a drama troupes enriched or for filled by an aesthetic experience. a scholarly community by the pursuit of knowledge. marriage is fulfilled by the bearing and rearing of children. therefore, all the goods human beings are subject of. there again, the best way to make sense of that is on the traditional view. a man and a woman feelheir marital love by the very act
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that also makes new life. the relationship of that act is itself fulfilled by the bearing and rearing of children and the sharing of life that calls for a cross all aspects. because it is comprehensive in the dimensions of the partnerships united and the goods they are united around, it calls for comprehensive commitment, permanent and exclusive. this is the vision of marriage that i think make sense of loss of features that would make no sense -- lots of features that would make no sense in the other view. the requirement of consummation to complete a marriage, the idea that marriage has any inherent and stable connection to family life, that it inherently calls for permanence and exclusivity apart from subjective tastes or. the idea the state has an interest in at all as opposed to other forms of deeper emotional bonds. it makes sense of these cross- cultural and cross-millennial, really, traditions.
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replacing that vision of marriage with a vision of marriage that is different not only undermines those norms and makes them impossible to explain, but also over time makes them impossible to enforce. that in turn will hurt every common good that we recognize marriage in the first place to serve. thanks. [applause] collects ok. -- >> ok. for better or for worse, same- sex marriage is one of the most successful social movements in american history. outside the realm of political possibility as early as the 1990s, and now its victory is pantly inevitable. it succeeded largely because its opponents have been so inarticulate and, this is the crucial part, they have remarkably failed to pass on their views to their children.
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my guess is that, i will not ask for a show of hands as to who the room is predisposed to agree with me and who in the room was predisposed to agree with sherif, because it just would not be friendly. i know. according to a gallup poll, 46% of americans oppose same-sex marriage. 53% e in favor. the percentage that supports has doubled in only 15 years. there is a huge generational divide. among people who are 18-29 years old, 73% support same-sex marriage. that number drops steadily with age. only 39% of those who are 65 or older support same-sex marriage. his is the result of a massive political shift. barack obama is the first democratic psident to support same-sex marriage. he is also the last democratic
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president to oppose same-sex marriage. that will never happen again. republicans are painfully and grudgingly beginning to do likewise. so, the book that sherif girgis has written is an important book. it is clear, tightly reasoned. it is a philosophical argument -- it is fun to read. now, there are so people who have argued against same-sex marriage because of the purported baleful consequences, a terrible effect on heterosexual families. these claims are parasitic on deeper philosophical claims. i will focus on the deeper philosophical claims. the central claim is that, the
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work he is offering comes out of the new natural law theory that has been held for some decades. robert george of princeton, on of the co-authors of the book -- they argue there are some universal human goods. cross culturally universal goods. life, health, knowledge, friendship. i agree with them about this. their claim, though, is that marriage is such a good. a cross-culturally universal good thomas and it is a with its owno on value that the state did not invent and has no power to redene. it's goodness arises, this is the core of his claim, arises from the bodily union that only a man and a woman can achieve. their challenge has always been to explain what the intrinsic difference is or could be between same-sex and opposite- sex couples.
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the response is the union of opposite-sex couples has an intelligible essence that same- sex topples cannopossibly participate in. i will read from the new book. "man and woman, when they unite bodily, they coordinate toward common biological and of the whole that the form together." this is something a same-sex couple cannot accomplish -- there is no bodily good or function toward which their bodies can coordinate. for biological union to occur, the bodies have to be cord needed toward something. in human bodies there is only one such biological oend. i am not sure this is true. there are some things that are things you cano with your body -- a biological function. singing, something you have to have your body do.
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i am not sure a chorus does not achieve bodily union. but this is a side issue. a central objection is that this argument about body coordination cannot explain why the line is drawn and the way they have drawn it so that heterosexual couples who know themselves to be in for tile -- infertile are nonetheless in the charmed circle. a sterile person's genitals are no more suitable for procreation than an unloaded gun is for shooting. even if you thought there was something trinsically wonderful about heterosexual union, why the lines would be drawn in the way they have drawn it. so then we get into an extended argument. i say, they address it to some extent in their book. their treatments are scrupulously fair
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and accurate. they claim, even in that case the body is coordinating toward an end. when any couple, a man and a woman procreate, they do not know that on that occasion there is going to be a egg to be fertilized. the meaning of what they do now cannot depend on what happens later. a broken gone, even irreparably broken, is still a gun. that is not true of a pile of gun parts. the infertile heterosexual couple who unites achieves that good of unity, so the argument goes, in the same way that the couple who will actually fertilize a baby succeed in doing. here i have to say, there is a problem when one argues about good. alternately you need uptake on
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the part of the audience. the audience has to be persuaded that the thing being argued for is in fact good. you just have got to see it. if i were trying to argue about the good of friendship, we agree that this is something cross-culturally good. if ias trying to persuade someone who has never had any friends and could not understand the point, it would be very tricky to try to get the person to see what we are talking about their. i am going to have to report my own limitations here. whatever the good the infertile heterosexual couple achieves does not seem to me as though it has got anything to do with the creation of babies. they argue the infertile couple 's unions is a viable part of a valuable whole, but i do not see what value there would be in deliberately assembling and irreparably broken gun in a way
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related to the function of shooting. maybe you want to do to it to put it in a museum, but it does not have the goodness of this particular unity as a reason for action. it is a real question i want you to clarify. the argument also curiously fails to appciate certain types of reproduction cord nations. there are a few dismissive lines about artificial reproduction in the book, but it is not clear to me why a couple engaging in artificial reproduction is not also coordinating toward the bodily good of reproduction. now, there are other aspects of the account of marriage that are, i think, mysterious. they say their view can account for monogamy, for example. i will read you a line from the book "spouses should have by
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commitment to exclusive and lifelong committee that the ofts of the deat that the parts the body have by nature." i think this is a non sequitur. not to me is swellbut it does not follow from biological unity. one person can coordinate with a lot of others. if you study history, it has been done. [laughter]think of a chorus. lots of people coordinating bodily. now, the authors claim that ofess their standard marriage is widely shared, social pressures will diminish for husbands to stay with wives and children or men and women to marry before having children. they say only their understanding can save marital stability. as of thharm of same-sex marriage. "as more people absorb the idea of marriage, marriagewill
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increasingly take on a motion o his tyrannical inconstancy -- in constancy." but look at the top economic quartile of americans, those most likely to endorse same-sex marriage. another reason why it would have been unfair for a show of hands -- this is harvard law school -- within that quartile rates of non-marital birth and divorce are basically what they were during the 1950s. you guys are likely to stay married. so thoseeople evidently perceive a reason to control emotionally tyrannical inconstancy, which is not a region to -- reason to reject same-sex marriage because it is the same. i am an example. my wife and i together have -- have been together for decades.
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and i also think that the account of marriage in the book is so novel and esoteric that it is hard to believe it has any effect at all on ordinary people's behavior. i will bet most of you are still trying to get it. they cite a few ancient philosophers who held ideas about marriage that were broadly consistent with theirs, but i do not think you will define this bodily unity lot in aristotle. philosophy is not about inclusion. it is about arguments. this really is a very novel example. let s something about the alternative view, more precisely, the idea there is the alternative view and it is that of dan savage. i love dan savage, but i do not agree with everything he says. they claim that the alrnate view holds that marriage has an essence and is essentially an emotional union nearly enhanced by whatever sexual activity the
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partners find agreeable. the logic of that view is that there are no principled boundaries to marriage so it has to logically sweep into itself polygamist groups and celibates who happen to share a household such as brothers living together. they are right about the weaknesses of any rival evangelism. -- eventualism,. i think the right things to say that marriage is not essentially anything. it is a historical, cultural formation. it would not have arisen were it not the case that human beings produce sexually. that is how it came to arise. but it does not have any essence. there are regularities about it that ought to influence the weight married people behave. 99% of heterosexual couples report that they expect sexual exclusivity in their marriage. violations of it are rounds for
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divorce across lots of cultures. keep that in mind. but marriage might be a practice that suits needs but can be modified freely as our derstanding of human needs of all. the fundamental difficulty in the claim, i think, is the short distance from premise to conclusion. the union of the married, heterosexual couple is uniquely good because -- well, because the union of a married heterosexual couple is uniquely good. this intuition comes decorated with a complex theoretical apparatus, but the apparatus does not do any work. i think their book is a public service. i'm very grateful this book is out there concisely because this is the perspective that fewer and fewer american share and a of people find unintelligible. i think it is good for the
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country for people to understand their fellow citizens. right now there are a lot of your fellow citizens who were being dragged kicking and screaming into the new world. it is good to understand what your fellow citizens are thinking. this is a lucid window into a dying world here. it is unlikely to persuade anyone who does not already agree with its claims, and it is not going to have much impact on its intended contemporary audience. but it really does have value in advancing our understanding of the landscape of arguments today. for that we should all be grateful to them. it will also be of enormous value to historians. thank you. [applause] >> i want to thank both the participants in this debate for giving very stimulating recitations.
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i've heard any number of people shout at each other about these issues or the years. i have seldom heard a really valuable discussion before an audience such as this. i think we should all be grateful to them. i want to give you a chance to answer, but let me build first on something he said at the end. it captures somewhat the question i was going to ask. you began by saying your argument was not going to be a moral argument. you bega, if i understood you correctly, saying you were going to explain what we might think of as the conceptual logic of the concept of marriage or what andy referred to in the end as what is essential to marriage. so i am just a little puzzled about how that argument can be made without being a moral argument. for example, suppose i say, i
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know a married homosexual couple, i know two men who married each other here in the state of massachusetts. they are recognized by the state of massachusetts and he all the privileges of marrge within this date of massachusetts. one possibility in the purely conceptual view would be that due to the effect of when i say that i have echoed the state of massachusetts in making a mistake, what i have said could not be possibly true, it is as if the state of massachusetts issued dog licenses to. but the issuing of a dog license to a cat does not change it. a dog just is something. i think andy's point is that marriage is not like that. in order to determine what
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ought to count as marriage and what ought not to count as marriage, we do not -- we have to make moral judgments. am i correct in that? if i am correct in that, do you want to take this opportunity to be a little more straightforward about what the precise moral argument you are urging is? >> what i began with was the argument ds not depend on saying that same-s relationships were a moral. -- immoral. the simple reason is we do not think marriage law is supposed to just contain married -- valuable and morally good relationships. we are all in relationships that are not recognized as marriage, and nobody thinks it is unjust for them not to be recognized. it is moral in the nse it is talking about a human good that the state is tracking and has reasons to track, but it is not moral in the sense of relying on a claim about the immorality of
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same-sex relationships or any other relationships. let me say a little bit about the idea that there is something to marriage cross- culturally. i have heard very often, the frequent claim that it just cannot possibly have -- happen. i have heard that from professor koppelman. i think there are arguments for the other side of that question. let me go through a couple. you might at the most general level think there is something mysterious about the requirements of human good. but that view would qckly read into a really deep general moral relativism. it would be possible to him play -- explain human rights, the basis of justice, so often invoked against me, to explain anything, any normative claim we make. we might say it is more specific than that. there is a problem, not that it
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cannot be -- there cannot be objective criteria for anything , just that there cannot be for a social institution like marriage. but andrew koppelman himself has contradictedhat idea. he has agreed, and most of us would agree, that friendship is something, there is a good there, that you cannot capture unless you are bonded to someone else. it is nothing more since -- mysterious than that that i'm claiming about marriage. in light of that particular good, certain requirements arise theit, like loyalty in case of friendship and sexual exclusivity in the case of marriage. the reason i cited these other thinkers from ancient greece or rome or whatever is just to find people who y could not say were motivated by religion. they were not motivated by bigotry either because, well many of them were in highly whole rotted cultures in the sense that they were cultures --
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highly homoerotic cultures in the sense they had nothing against homosexuality, they were in a time of place -- time and place where the idea of sexual orientation in picking out animus against a class of people did not exist. it was not religious or property concerns. they were articulating a view of the human good and not will be law should be in the first place. they must have had an insight into the structure of marriage just as we might have had insight into the structure of friendship. a final point about the question is that most of you are probably committed to the views that entail the same thing, that there is an objective standard of what marriage is. if marriage was just whatever the majority said it was there would be no independent standard for saying a marriage law was unjust, that it unjustly excluded some relationships that are true marriages. you might say that it is just
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not sure, there is a cluster of social good that original might serve, and those goods can evolve over time and so can marriage law. i would press the question again, which i have pressed in lots of venues and never heard -- heard a good answer. if youan give me a good answer, i will retract the whole book. it is a question of -- you are excited now. [laughter] we will make news right here. let's just take one simple ample. the three men in love. there was one sympathetic profile of them, a three-person couple. th live together, are in love , share all the burdens and benefits of domestic life against an indefinite horizon. they do not want their
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relationship to be stigmatized as they raise kids together. they want to be able to be co- owners to their goods if one of them dies. they think equality requires not excluding them and the relationship that they identify as most fulfilling for them from their general recognition. if there is no idea of what marriage is such that this is, however viable for themnot a marriage, then the only thing you can say against it is that it must have some social cost. social cost that is so great that it justifies violating what is otherwise a basic right. basic rights usually trump even great social cost. what could that be? there is no answer in what professor koppelman said or wrote. there has been no answer in the years we have been making this challenge. it draws people back to the point that there is a structure
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to marriage and the way that there is a structured a friendship. it is worth keeping those clear. even if non-friendship and her actions or non-marital friendships can themselves also have a different and separate value. i will say one more thing by way of response to some of professor koppelman's points. if you take any difficult moral issue and drill down to bedrock, you will come up with complexity. arguments will not sound routine. they will be difficult. the law has to take a position on who the person is. if you look on the literature on personhood, whether you are with peter singer or robert george, it is difficult, complex, dense. that does not mean people do not have a rough grasp of the
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concept. that does not mean our law and the common good cannot depend on getting the concept right. for millennia, nobody has seriously questioned the idea that commenty is part of the structure of marriage -- complementary part of the structure of marriage, and that recognition of this is crucial for the common good. the fact that we drill down and come up with arguments doenot mean they do not try to make sense, does not mean they do not succeed in making sense of what on a rough level people understand. if you think romantic love is fulfilled in marriage and that what romantic love speaks to it, total union with the beloved, or if you think it inherently calls for permanee or exclusivity, or if you think as a rule it involves sexual union , the challenge of the book, it the first chapter, is to explain those facts that are pretty widely recognized.
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the later chapters try to show you that something like are viewed as explained and at some level of generality it was shared by people wse views you cannot explain by bigotry or policy requirements or religion. i am afraid it is just a little confusing to say it is dense -- too easy to say it is dense or is not routine. because this challenge repost has never been met on the other side there are not equly articulate views of what marriage is such that it could be possible between two men but not between three. if you want, the challenge could be to write the opposite book. then we can compare them and compare intuitions and compare the degree of fit with history and our legal and social pact. i am confident it would do well in that case. >> i will try to be very quick because i want there to be time for some questions. what can i say?
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first of all, if the institution -- it is possible for a institution to be socially constructive and still have rules, and for the institution to have objective concerns about justice. think about the game of chess, something they clearly of all but overtime. i am pretty sure the move of the knight him last because it is so odd. at some point they'd tried to decide whether to change the game that way. somebody proposed, let the queen move like the knight. this will not get resolved by principal. this will be resolved by the question of, well, in terms of the good of chess, are we going to him for the institution by changing it this way or not? that seems to be the way in which to have the conversation about this. the last thing i will say is of course we can still have a question about justice, even if
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the institution is socially constructed. the law says it is still legal for a lack person and a white person to play chess together. of course that can be an object. >> let me put one question to you. sherif makes the charge that if you want to defend a sion of marriage that includes same- sex couples you have got to give some account of what the essence of marriage is, and that the prevailing understanding of public supporters of same-sex marriages that the the essence of marriage is emotional union. do you agree with that? >> no. the claim i have been making is that notverything has an essence. chest is not have an essence. we can still talk about it -- c hess does not have an essence. we can still talk about it.
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this is not an argument about essences. >> is this an improvement in the concept of marriage that society has operated with, that marriage is now understood in a way that encompasses same-sex couples? >> it makes a lot of people better off and i do not believe it makes anybody else worse off. >> again, if you zoom in on the question of whether to give a particular household a particular benefit, the answer is there is always a reason to do it. there is always a reason to give a particular person a tax break or increase social status and so on. that is not the question. the question is, what are the competing pros and cons of enshrining in our law and therefore overtime in our hearts and minds one or another vision of what marriage is. is there a value, socially or otherwise, to preserving certain norms as constituting marriage as opposed to otheforms of relationships?
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i think the best recent example of the implications of this question has nothing to do with same-sex relationships. it is no-fault divorce. when i was busy gestating in the 1980s, people were arguing that no-fault divorce was a win- win. if a relationship has a high level of conflict, they want to get out of it anyway, nobody who has a happy marriage will avail themselves ofo-fault divorce. but it is only a benefit for everybody. now the data is in a generation later. it is a very questionable claim. you have increasingly liberal as well as conservative people saying no-fault divorce did not just make it easier for high conflict marriages to break up, it changed what people thought they were getting into. it changed people's understanding of stability and security in marriage. it made them less likely to stick with it through medium level conflict, which studies suggest is over, pull -- ovwe
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ercomable. the casualties were not just the spouses, but to sum significant and measurable extent their children. when we ask the question, we have to take it at the level it is proposed. as a policy question. what are the implications for the future and for future marriages in partilar and the interest of those regulating it at all, of any proposed change? >> could you be more specific about what are the harms you see ensuing to whom? >> sure. basically, the state sends a couple different messages when it recognizes same-sex unions is equivalent in all important ways to oppositeex ones. what makes a marriage different from other bonds is -- essentially or just in our social convention -- is a certain kind of emotional union. a second thing it teaches is
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that mothers and fathers are replaceable for the purposes of panting. and that it is bigotry to suggest otheise. sticking with those two things, you see a couple different rms. one is that the more people internalize that, the lower their internal motivations will be and the lower general social encouragement or pressure if you want to put it negatively will be, for example, for couples to stay togethewhen you motion windsor wanders -- wanes oirr wn ders./ when they have been imbibing from their youth that the father does not contribute anything extend -- distinctive to children or their upbringing. there are harms. one we talk about in the book, to give you a sense, is if you define marriage by its degree or intensity of effective union --
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affective union, you suggest that what is not marriage is simply y. as a result, people who are unmarried or stay unmarried for whatever reason will find it harder, i think, to find deep emotional fulfillment in non- marital bonds. it will be socially less acceptable to find deep emotional fulfillment outside of marriage now that marriage has been defined by being simply the endpoint of this spectrum of closeness to another person. this is not something i am making up. you have seen an increasing literature about this, including more recently in "the new york times." "atlantic" writers made the point, drawing the same connection. there are lots of ramifications. there are ramifications of blurring the distinction between the marital form of community with someone else and companionship more generally.
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--to m or i'm getting this, to make sure i'm getting this, the claim is chdren in future generations ll be worse of and lots of other people will be were soft because theyill find it harder than they would if we continued with the traditional definition of marriage to find close, enduring, emotional connection? >> outside of marriage, yes. and that in all those respects every common -- every aspect of the common good that depends on a healthy next generation will be hurt as well, which includes limited government, for the libertarians and the audnce, and many other aspects. >> let's give andy one last reply three >> we are running out of time. >> we are eager to have questions. we are insisting you go to the microphone. would somebody go to the microphone there? there is one right there. >> you know you want to.
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>> my name is david. thank you both for taking the time to come out. when i listen to your speech, i am a little bit confused by the notion of marriage having to have an essence. i suppose that to mean marriage is more a social recognition of a relationship that also carries legal benefits, you could leavit it to complementarity, but i also know it has to go beyond that, at least in the respect that the alternative you give, what about polyamorous relationships, that seems a little bit more objectively easy to reject. we do not want to abuse the legal benefits concern -- conferred on marriage. can you speak more on why couples who do not choose to have sex, couples who do not choose to be exclusive, couples who are infertile or
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even, say, a man and a wan who do not have the requisite genitals, for instance, should be allowed to marry well a homosexual couple should not have that legal recognition and that social recognition of their relationship? >> sure. this reminds me of something professor koppelman saithat i want to address as well. there are two strands. one is, implicitly, you cannot possibly have captured a value of the category here. it is just about the equipment, as professor koppelman says. he point i want to make it you can do this with any view. i can say, if you only want to recognize sexual relationships, you think there is something special about climax. there is a way of putting it that undermines the value tha proponents of that view say there is. that is not fair. the question is not that, but whether there is an accurate description of value. we did not to say heterosexual
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monogamous union is viable because it is valuable. he give you a general account of what marriage is about. a bodily union, d then we have shown you how only the union a man and a woman form answers to that description. it is not circular. it goes somewhere. more specifically to your question, i think it is easiest -- you say polyamory is easier to answer objectively. and that this is an abuse of marriage recognition -- it would be like me coming up and saying, it is just a fact that entarity is essential. you might ask why the state's involved in this in the first place. if you do not think there is a
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human good that can be tracked in and objectives structure. if you think it is just the fact that when people live together they have certain practical needs, which i also here, i can agree. i can say you are right. a lo of the ings most often mentioned, i agree, people should have the right. but there is no reason that that should be limited to a sexual relationship. two brothers to live together and share the burdens and benefits of a home tether should have those benefits as well. it would not require redefining marriage in particular to grant them. it would be unjust to dot because it would be too limited. if you do not believe in the idea that marriage has objective criteria, ask why the state is involved in the first place. that is another way of getting at what we think would have to converge with something like the conjugal view. sayndy, why don't you
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something in response to that well we look for a another to step forward to the microphone to ask a question when andy is done? >> i think i have already -- >> why the state is in marriage at all? >> certainly, there are really two reasons. one of them, i will call it the henry smith reason. people are in these relationships, these relationships have public effects. they transact with lots of others. it facilitates transactions for everybody else to know what these relationships are. it facilitates relationships between the parties to know what these relationships are. in this sense the law of marriage is like the law of business corporations or the law of property, ane-size-fits-all set of rights. they probably do not fit a lot
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of people. part of the claims of same-sex marriages -- couples, they have all the same reasons for wanting this legal recognition, household and children. the other arises out of something barely mentioned today. a long, messy history of discrimination against gay people, in that context excluding couples who look an awful lot like heterosexual married couples, from this institution. it partakes of that pattern of stigma a discrimination we are trying to move away from. >> you will get to respond to that. first, thanks. i know it takes a lot of courage and the circle you running, yale andarvard, to see the things you believe. i do not agree with you, but i respect that courage. my question is, we are in a room of people who can follow the philosophy behind your argument, which i do not think that is -- ishat combo traded. if you look broadly at society,
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the technology that even if subconsciously people are in tune with the philosophical points you are making they do not rationalize it that way. we live in a society where a recent study suggests that th os actuals are less anxious and depressed than on the whole heterosexuals. we live in a society where three years ago a school district in minnesota was struck by kindle where nine students killed themselves. five perhaps for reasons related to perceived or actual sexuality. we live in a society where symbolically marriage is involved with a number of philosophical points you have made. symbolically, a lot of people are against gay marriage because they are against gay relationships. that particular bias affects these children. and the children of gay couples. do you really think that in that complex -- context your philosophical argument, however
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valid, outweighs that brought societal symbolic perception, and the ability through transforming marriage to perhaps the race anti-gay bias in a society that is rife with it? >> a couple quick points. i give her the question. the first thing is that one thing that is implicit in your argument is that the middle point on the spectrum is the one that is really difficult. if more people had something like a conjugal view of marriage, it is oriented to family life, whatever, the particular way, the less people would infer from it anti-gay anything. then the failure to recognize same-sex relationships would not be predicated on the idea that they are less worthy, but just that they are different forms of relationships. it is not any more of an insult and to not recognize them than to not recognize friendships. that may be an argument that could cut either way. either if you are going to support this view, do not stop
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there, but make sure there more of an enshrining of this general view of marriage so that people do not have to worry about anti-gay bias. that is my own position. i do not think -- in order to rega a foothold, to rebuild the other aspects of marriage culture. the second thing, i understand that -- the appeal of redefining marriage as a way of attacking anti-gay bias, but i think it is a blunt instrument. i think using marriage law as an instrument of inclusion, as a signal of approval or normality, would then only further drive into the margins of society people who for whatever reason, including personal reasons or choice or if they identify as a sexual or whatever, do not get married. i ink the answer to bullying is to fight bullying. the answer to precedent is to affirm the equal diggity of
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every human being. well there may be some marginal benefits of redefining marriage to accomplish that worthy purpose, not only would it have the collateral effects i'm talking about, but its bluntness as an instrument for that purpose would have bad, unintended effects. >> on behalf of all of us in this room, i am sure i want to take this opportunity to thank the two participants in this very informative conversation. thanks again. [applause]
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>> well, what you can infer is this dog is not a very accurate indicator of probable cause, because probable cause tests whether drugs are likely to be found in a search that follows an alert. if the dog's -- >> but they are likely to be found if there is a residual odor of drugs, even though the drugs are no longer there. so it's not an incompetent dog when he alerts because of the residual odor. >> but if a dog has -- but if a dog has previously alerted and no drugs have been found because the dog's hyperacuity causes him to smell drugs that were there two days or two weeks ago, then the next time that dog alerts,
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it's less likely, the probability declines that drugs will be found. it goes to what probable cause measures, rather than what the dog training and certification community measure, and that is, the likelihood, the reasonable probability, that drugs will be found following the search. >> counsel, how is that any different than a police officer who comes to a car and smells marijuana? he's never going to know whether there is any more in the car or not. it could have been smoked up an hour before. i don't know how long marijuana lingers for, but -- i'm not sure why residual odor affects the reliability of the dog, which was justice scalia's point. it's no different than an officer who smells something. he doesn't actually know whether it's physically still present or not, but we're talking about probabilities. >> that's correct. and -- and the difference is that -- that the police officer can describe what he has smelled and can say, i smell marijuana. all the dog tells the police officer is, i smell something i was trained to detect, perhaps, if i'm operating correctly. but getting to this -- this issue of residual odor, our
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position is that an alert where no drugs are found means that the dog -- that -- it detracts from probable cause in that instance. but that's not the only rule available to the court. residual odor, whether an alert was to residual odor and is therefore correct and accurate, is something that can be litigated. in one of the lower courts that decided the case after the florida supreme court, the court looked to the field performance records, and it found several of them well supported on the issue of whether the alert was probably to the odor of drugs, several it didn't find. so that is an issue that can be litigated. another possibility is -- >> well, excuse me. where -- when nothing is found, how can you tell whether the dog alerted to a residual odor or simply made a mistake? now, there may be cases where there is other evidence that suggests that drugs were present in that location, and, therefore, that is something from which you can infer that
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the dog was alerting to residual odor, but, the fact that you don't have evidence of that doesn't mean that there wasn't residual odor. >> no, it doesn't mean that there wasn't residual odor. but, again, you go back to what probable cause measures, i believe. and the florida supreme court didn't demand evidence of residual odor. what it did is it said that if field performance records exist, then the state can explain unverified alerts in the field as residual odor, and then a court can then evaluate that. >> what's the magic number? what percentage of accurate alerts or inaccurate is enough for probable cause? >> well, this court has always hesitated to assign percentages to probable cause, but, in the lower courts, once you get below 50%, probable cause is much less likely to be found, assuming that there is no other corroborative evidence, no other reasonable suspicion factors. i'd like to talk briefly about
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the oregon supreme court and what that court did in several cases. helzer and foster decided in 2011, independently of the florida supreme court decision, doesn't cite -- in foster, the oregon supreme court had a dog that trained initially with the same handler, unlike here, where the evidence was very strong as to the features of the training and certification program, and where that dog had, i believe, a 66% field performance record. now, the court in foster said that the dog's reliability can be established by training, certification, and performance in the field. the court added that it didn't think that performance in the field was the most reliable measure, but it's relevant, and
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the court considered that 66% percentage. but then, on the same day, in helzer, there was a dog that trained initially with a different handler, that the handler ultimately testified to very few details of the ongoing training and the certification. in foster, the certification was with an organization that required a 90% success rate. in helzer, there was no such testimony. and this officer, like the officer here, didn't keep field performance records when the dog alerted and no drugs were found. in helzer, the court found that there was insufficient evidence of reliability. and i believe that those two cases demonstrate what is a -- what is a correct line to draw in navigating what is reliable. on several arguments made by the state, the argument was that the maintenance training included blanks, and that the dog did not alert to blanks. the record, we believe, supports the florida supreme court's conclusion that blanks were
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tested -- the dog was tested on blanks, but there was no testimony as to whether the dog didn't alert on those blanks. the state has said that the dog was subsequently recertified. i don't find support in the record for that. at a suppression hearing, the state argued -- the officer testified that the dog was scheduled for another certification, but we don't know whether the dog was ever recertified. the court can affirm the florida supreme court simply on the failure to produce adequate46 documentation of certification and initial training, and on the fact that this dog was never certified with this trainer -- with this handler and didn't initially work with this handler. you don't have a dog here who was reliable enough to demonstrate probable cause. the florida supreme court so concluded. i believe its conclusion was correct. and unless there are additional questions -- >> the alert -- the alert here could have been to residual odor, or it could have been to drugs inside the pickup truck.
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if it's --because the alert was in front of the -- a front door handle, is that -- so it -- it's equally likely that it -- that it was just residual odor or that there were drugs inside the pickup truck. can the police establish probable cause when what the dog alerted to may well have been residual odor and nothing inside? the dog didn't alert anyplace other than the door handle, is that -- >> it can constitute probable cause. what officer wheetley testified to in this case was he believed that this alert was to residual
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odor on the door handle -- >> excuse me. did you say it can or it can't? >> it may. it may. it can constitute probable cause in this case. officer wheetley testified that this dog alerted to the door handle. and in his prior experience, when the dog alerts to the door handle, it means that someone who had smoked or consumed drugs or handled drugs had touched the door handle. now, if officer wheetley had testified that in his experience when he'd seen such alerts and conducted a search, drugs were found inside the vehicle, then that residual odor alert would support probable cause. officer wheetley did not so testify. there was insufficient evidence that this residual odor alert -- that a residual odor alert of this nature, without finding drugs afterward, supports probable cause. >> but at least we don't have to worry about mothballs in this case, is that right? there are no mothballs? >> no. no mothballs to my knowledge. no, your honor. >> was that the holding in the florida supreme court, that there was no probable cause because the dog alerted to the
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wrong part of the truck? >> no, your honor. >> was it any part of their reasoning? >> they were concerned about residual odor alerting without any explanation by the state as to how residual odor alerting supports probable cause. but the primary basis for its decision was the lack of performance records and the lack of records supporting initial training and certification to show that this dog was reliable. >> and if we think they were wrong in that respect, i suppose that you would say the court shouldn't reverse, but should vacate and remand because the question did alert him to the door handle, was that enough? was that enough to establish probable cause that there were drugs in the vehicle? >> well, i don't think the door handle itself is -- is dispositive. i think it's the door handle plus the lack of evidence that we have a reliable dog.
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and, again, the reason you need a reliable dog, evidence on what training and certification means, is that there are no standards, no standards whatsoever for initial training. some states do have standards for training and certification. florida does not. and no standards for -- for maintenance training as well. in orderha you have to know what that certification, what that training means, if you don't have standards that will tell that for you. if there are no additional questions, i'll conclude. >> thank you, counsel. mr. garre, you have 3 minutes. >> thank you, your honor. first, probable cause in this court's precedents looks not only to the likelihood that contraband would be present, but the likelihood that there would be evidence of a crime. and that would include the so- called residual odor, evidence that drug paraphernalia, someone had recently smoked illegal narcotics in the vehicle, or the like. so the alert to the so-called residual odor of drugs is just as probative to the question of probable cause as an alert to drugs themselves. the fact that aldo alerted to the door handle area of the car doesn't negate in any way the
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probable cause that officer wheetley had to search. what it means is that the door handle area was where the scent of the illegal narcotics was the strongest. it could have been narcotics coming out of that area, or coming out of the door seam, or could have been the fact that someone who had used narcotics was using the door handle to get in and out of the car. second, courts can determine reliability in this context. they would look to the performance in the controlled training environment. there is a real danger with suggesting that field performance records are --are a permissible foray for defendants in suppression hearings to challenge the reliability of dogs because, one, as justice alito pointed out, it's not a controlled setting. we don't know whether the dog did alert to residual odors of narcotics that had been in the car, drugs that were hidden and simply not found during the relatively -- >> would you -- would you allow counsel to ask about that? >> i think they could ask about it, your honor. i don't think they could demand
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the51 performance records themselves. and that would be a huge deterrent to law enforcement, even maintaining those records. third, officer wheetley and aldo did train together for nearly a year before the search in question. they did complete the 40-hour drug detection seminar at the dothan, alabama, police department. and that certificate's at page 105 of the record. and second, as justice scalia pointed out, all the incentives in this area are aligned with ensuring the reliability of drug detection dogs. it's not in the police interest to have a dog that is inaccurate in finding contraband or that is inaccurate and putting an officer in harm's way. humans have relied upon dogs for law enforcement-related purposes, due to their extraordinary sense of smell, for centuries. dogs, trained drug detection dogs and explosive detection dogs, are invaluable members of the law enforcement community today.
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we would ask the court to reverse the decision below, which would act as a serious detriment to the use of that valuable tool. >> thank you, counsel. >> thank you, your honor. >> the case is submitted.that decision will come later this year. >> coming up, and a panel a rancid nuclear program. -- the ran's nuclear her rim. secretary of state john kerry speaks at the university of virginia. >> from the first time we told the board the approach we were
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going to take which was straightforward. to make this a viable company again. we want to move quickly. we need your support. we need your input. we changed a few things about the board meetings. we shortened them. we stayed away from the [indiscernible]the board was supportive of that. we kept them informed. and it took off >> former german chancellor ceo ed would occur on the american
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turn on sunday night at -- former ceo ed whitaker on the american turn around on sunday night. >> victoria space on -- the tory of -- vico kerry.peaks on john tomorrow, secretary curie will give his spurg -- secretary kerry will give his first speech.
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he will be at uva. from february 26 to march 6 secretary kerry will make his first trip as secretary. he will travel to the united kingdom, germany, france, italy, turkey, egypt, saudi arabia, and the united arab emirates and qatar. in london, he will meet with british officials. he will then visit german officials. he will have a chance in berlin to exchange words on the state of european-american relations. he will reconnect with the city
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in which he lived as a child. we expect international support from mali. italy, in additional to meeting senior officials, he will have a number of multilateral meetings and meet with european allies. we expect italian authorities will invite some of the key countries for the opposition coalition. the secretary will have a chance to meet with the leadership of the counsel separately. he will meet with turkish officials to discuss viral --
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bilateral and multilateral issues that we work on together, including ending the crisis in syria and our ongoing cooperation in the area of counterterrorism. in cairo, he will meet with senior egyptian officials and other key political stakeholders, civil society leaders and with the visiti buss community. to encourage political consistence -- consensus and move forward on economic reform. he will take the opportunity to meet with the arabic secretary on our shared challenges. he will meet with the senior saudi leadership to a trust our cooperation on a broad range of issues. he will have a chance to have a meeting with his counterparts from the gulf cancellation -- counsel.
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he will meet with senior officials from the u.a.e. he will meet with leadership to discuss all of the many bilateral regional think that we work on including syria, afghanistan, and the east peace. >> just so we are clear dexia said -- just so we are clear you said he will meet with senior officials from key countries supporting the opposition. that will include the opposition? or will he meet with the supporters and separately with the opposition? >> the italians are organizing this meeting so for a precise way down to meeting, i will refer you to them. we expect eight to 10 of the countries who have been the biggest supporters of the opposition and for the
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opposition to peek in the meeting to present his views -- its viwews. there'll be a second meeting. >> do you expect he will meet with supporting countries to be mostly foreign ministers? >> that is our hope that they will be his counterparts. >> is the administration rethinking its hitherto opposition to having the -- providing arms to the syrian opposition. >> i do not have anything new to add for the posture of support. you know where we have been. we provide nonlethal assistance to the opposition.
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now, support to local court and counsels particularly in liberated areas to meet the needs of people. one of the things that the secretary is interested in doing on this trip -- she is characterizing this trip more broadly as a listening tool. he will look forward to hearing him the syrian opposition coalition on moral they think we can do and to hear from counsel parts more deeply involved in supporting the opposition. i could not have any change in policies to announce. >> on the trip, there was a decision not to go to israel. >> given the fact that the government coalition negotiations and israel are still underway, the secretary will be traveling there with the president when he visits later
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in the spring in lieu of making his own separate trip in february. >> what does that have to do with -- a sense that the was israelis are still working on that coalition. >> secretary clinton made her first trip to asia. one of the things that she famously said was america is that. is there any significance to secretary cary's position not to include asia on his first trip notwithstanding the pickets or rebalancing toward asia that the administration has talked about? >> we will not add any more trips.
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buchanan expect -- you can expect that secretary can we will visit it early in his tenure. he spoke about this and some of his confirmation and his swearing in and his first best ability -- press availability with regards to challenges of new democracies, fragile democracies, the challenge from extremists seeking to hijack some of the arab spring revolutions we have had. he is committed to having a good conversation both with european allies and partners and middle eastern partners on how we are from -- approaching that.
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the combined challenge of iran. you have to hear all of these things on this trip. >> secretary of state john kerry delivers his first major speech since his confirmation. we will be live at the university of virginia starting at 11:00 here on c-span. >> the principal made strip -- strategy of the southern state is commerce rate. if you are going after and merchant ships, one is all you need. if you caught a merchant ship, the idea was to come alongside and play prize crew on board, take it to a court where a judge could adjudicate it,
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auction it, and you got to keep the money. because it depends on the profit motive, the ship owner paid the men, supplies the food, hires officers. he expects a return on his money. the crew expected prize money. without from the porch where they could be condemned and sold, you cannot make a profit on this. confederate -- this lasted about three months or slightly longer. entrepreneurs found out they can make more money to came running. at theokedmodn civil war at sea the brookings institution hosted discussions on the state of iran has nuclear
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program. this looks at the president's upcoming trip to israel. >> ok, good morning, and thank you for joining us. at the end of a holiday weekend, we are here at this morning to discuss an issue that is in the headlines daily, but i think will continue to occupy a great deal of attention here in washington and around the world in the coming year. there has been so much discussion about the desire of the u.s. electorate, as reflected in the vote last november, to reduce its engagement in foreign affairs broadly, to shy away from new entanglements, and to turn its attention perhaps a bit more away from the middle east and toward other parts of the world, and we have seen the intentions of the administration in that regard, but of course, here in saban center, the middle east
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does not wait quietly for the administration to of devote attention that. it demands such attention. i think on no issue is that more cleared this year than on the issue of the brewing confrontation with iran over its nuclear programs. there have been a number of recent developments on this topic that make it worthy of a renewed discussion, and i cannot think of anyone i would rather have on our dais to help us think through the approach to the challenging issue than ambassador thomas pickering. >> very nice. we do not always get that on
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tuesday morning. >> among his other accomplishments, tom is a fellow at brookings, and we're glad to have the opportunity to bring him here at the stage. he is a retired u.s. diplomat with a distinguished record, including service in the middle east, but also with major global powers like russia and india, who are playing very interesting roles in the evolving discussions over iran. welcome. and along with time we have our own kenneth pollack, senior fellow in the center, and ken is finishing a book right now on the challenge of iran, which you will be able to look for in book stores later this year.
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we're happy to have ken with us to provide comments on this topic as well. what we will do is we will have a bit of a conversation up here, and then we will open it up for questions from the floor. why don't we jump right in with some of these recent developments. there is now a date set for the next round of international negotiations to be held in a distinguished diplomatic capital of almaty. one wonders if that quieter location will allow distance from the glare of the cameras.
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what do you expect from these long-awaited talks? >> thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be here. i cannot think of a more bountiful crop to bring in out of the rain, for what has been the longest-running non-defense discussion about iran in this town for some time. i wish i could say i thought that almaty would produce something, but the reality is it seems to me to be pretty unlikely at the moment. you have pending internal processes in iran, leading to the selection of a new president in the summer and inauguration sometime in the autumn. that might well be a time of stasis, but on the other hand, because you can get any point of view from any iranian you talk to, some are talking about an opportunity.
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we will have to wait and see. the rocket that shot off at munich in bilateral conversations launched by vice president biden and seemingly supported by the foreign minister ali akbar salehi for a few seconds fell on infertile ground somewhere. that does not look like it is a good omen of good things to come. there are opportunities in almaty. since this all the talk about a grand bargain is probably a massive amount of overreach given the extent of mistrust and misunderstanding, but this is typical diplomatic thinking, and it could be overturned. we see very little signs of what one might call a kind of american henry-kissinger secret trip to beijing in the offering. one could stand that kind of surprise, but i do not think that is in the offing. the other side of the question
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is something very small could come out, that might even help to strengthen the mistrust that is so severe. the supreme leader on one hand seems to be saying it is perfectly ok to talk at p-5 plus one, but sitting down with the devil is not in the cards. the devil has to change his outlook on life. as we know, preconditions are not a very good way to set the stage for moving toward something successful, although these preconditions seem to be separate and isolated, apparently, from the bigger set of talks. the problem with a bigger set of talks is probably at the moment too many moving parts, too many people in the room, too much difficulty in getting even a kind inter-allied point of view on the table in a way that might even be encouraging to the supreme leader as opposed to the other way around.
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i would say chances are very small, but i would be very happy and very grateful to be surprised. small chance in my view have more to do the possibility of a small agreement, even a minor one would help. one could say the best expectations at the moment are that they will be set another date and even another place, and that in of itself will be encouraging because we know the rounds of the reasons that took place before 2012 always ended in one day with pretty much wide disagreement and with the task of the negotiators to spend the next year figuring out where and when to meet again. if we could get over the procedural hurdle, that would be some small, but not very gratifying, dividend. >> as you look at how the united states has prepared the ground
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for this set of talks, you noted the mission of bilateral talks fell on infertile ground. one reason that was put forward as there were those arguing that was what the iranians really needed to feel reassured, they needed the direct engagement with the united states, to probe on whether the u.s. is truly interested in a deal or is really just interested in changing the regime in tehran. they needed the reassurance that direct bilateral talks could provide. do you think the obama administration has constructed an approach that response to iranian concerns and that can solicit a meaningful response? >> i think they have tried, and they have tried in the numbers of times to reach out, and it is hard to see how one could
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overcome this, except perhaps for some actions that we might take that would be demonstrably difficult for u.s. domestic relationships, and indeed for a process and a significant down payment without any sense of return. i find that hard. i think the iranians in their own view have reason to at least argue that we are not serious and all we want to do is remove their regime. we have reason to argue on our side that they are not serious and all they want to do is going into a giant schlep until they are ready to make a nuclear weapon and see if they can slip that past. i think it is a stupid thing to be thinking about, and as ken mentioned, they cannot there was a reiteration of the fatwa over the weekend with a challenge, if we wanted to do it, we could do
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it and nobody could stop us, but that is not what we want to do. there are a lot of them. to some extent, interestingly enough, hillary clinton said we ought to sit down and say if we could make the fatwa a prevailing reality, and that is an important part of the approach. >> what would that look like? >> it would look like the kind of agreement that many people have written and thought about. in my view, four points at the end game would be very poor and to establish and to swallow. one would be basically accepting the fatwa, making it a reality by building it into the iranian civil program, what i would call significant, even adherence to civil objectives, so you would have some idea in quantity and
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quality come much enriched uranium they really thought they needed and could agree with either to fuel the 20%-using reactor or provide the only logical reason why would they would need fuel is in case the russians renege. they have a 20-reactor plan, but we do not see any money being put in the new reactor built or any contracts or anything moving. that part is fairly chimerical. the hope is the supreme leader understands what our doubts are, producing a lot of low-enriched uranium with no purpose other than perhaps legitimately to guard against russian malfeasance. that in and of itself subject to quantitative meditation.
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we need to build into an iranian program something that provides something like the best of all possible guaranteed against break-out. i believe the iaea ought to say, what do they need to inspect that program? the additional protocol, but i do not think the additional protocol is the end of inspection technology. we have had experience with iraq. they have developed new technologies. they say we only want a civil program. our side, two things have to happen at the end of day. one is those sanctions related to the nuclear program should come off gradually, as the kind of program i have talked about on the iranian side gets enrichment, and second, we would accept that, but it would be de facto in accepting our limited civilian program to enrich, which they keep saying that want to put on the table. they go together.
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that kind spell-out seem to be possible. getting there is a problem. it has to be in steps and stages. you have to be sure it is going to work, and even if you can sit down and describe what that might be, and i may not have all the ideas, but those seem to be the central ideas that you should have on the table in a way to proceed is any number of choices about significant steps that they would move to lock in their civil program that we would move to take sanctions away. >> i cannot help but feel the more we talk about this issue and what a deal could look like that the iranian nuclear issue is becoming like the israeli- palestinian issue, where we say we know what the deal looks like, but it is a question of whether how we can get there. do you think it is possible, taking the incremental approach that is talked about here, to get to that kind of deal?
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>> i think you are focusing on the exactly the right thing, to build on the points that tom has. this is a moment as we are thinking about reengaging with the iranians to think about the big picture. i agree with tom. i do not see breakthroughs coming out of almaty. it is a moment where we need to put down important markers we need to say we are serious about a deal and would be willing to lift the sanctions, and i go beyond that. i would like to see the usa willing to provide more meaningful benefits in return for their -- the kind of compromises that we need from them, along the lines of what tom has suggested. what you are getting at points to some bigger-picture issues. on the iranian side, the iranians need to ask themselves whether they are willing to strike a deal and live by.
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i agree with tom, the iranians have been hinting broadly at -- i think the iranians have been putting out there the fact they would be willing to stop at the 19.75 level of enrichment, they would be willing to accept the additional protocol, going beyond that. you can probably see the outlines of that deal. united states for its part has kind of hinted at that as well. on our side we have a lot of work to do. while it is the case that the incremental approach can get us there, it is only going to get us there if the united states is willing to accept the end state. the end state is going to be an iran that is limited, that is bound by inspections, backed by the threat of renewed sanctions, but ultimately is going to have some enrichment capability. one of the things i worry about
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is whether the u.s. government, the whole u.s. government, is going to be willing to live with that. >> by that you mean within the second branch or congress? >> within the congress, but in the executive branch as well, and we are going to have to say can we live with this. if we keep saying no to the iranians who are not allowed to have a capability, i see it is as making an enemy of good enough, a perfect i cannot think we will ever achieve. >> i agree. it seems to me that you have to crack this barrier. in 1994, after i had spent weeks beating the hell out of russians on no nuclear program on iran, and they said why? they have not done anything wrong.
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in the end, we can sell them a reactor. i went back to washington and said maybe it is time for us rather than to do the right thing two years too late, go after an iranian program and make sure they do not get into sensitive facilities, enrichment and reprocessing. i never got an answer to that. the notion is that we have essentially been right about how to deal with the iranian program, but four years too late. i think that is right, and i think no enrichment is splendid if you could get it, but i do not think you can get it. you can get limitations and firewalls with the iaea, the best you will get them diddling around means in fact that their effort, which is sincerely where they want to go -- they keep talking about being like japan, having the technologies necessary to go if they should
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decide to go -- is something we need to take into account. i think they are there or practically there and we can argue about this and that. i would like to see the amount of enrichment material, some real relationship to a single program and its needs, which would put it below the danger point rather than above the danger point that they have a whole lot of and can move very quickly and it will be done deep underground and have all those concerns. we keep hearing from them that is what the what to do, but we cannot seem to get all of what i would call the lone year of four or five years ago when we were convinced that lowest common denominator had to be no enrichment. i suspect we're there because there are enough people out there and the president and others are not willing to break the tie.
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i have to admire hillary clinton. she said about a year ago that she felt it would be possible to get toward a program where there was some enrichment, but it had to be down, at least in that direction, and she was putting it on the table. what you are talking about, but we have not been concrete enough, to some extent, a proposal that was either inherently or explicitly in that direction, and i laid out for you what my end-state goal would be, we would hope we get over that hurdle. because i think it is important, would like to see is in negotiations for two reasons. one, because i want them to succeed, but if there are to fail, i want to know sooner than later. >> can i probe for an amendment on the international dimensions here and as it relates to the question of enrichment and sanctions? you both seem to act and to size
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the idea that getting the iranians where we would be comfortable with them being on enrichment means putting forward the real prospect of sanctions release and more carrots. these sanctions were so painstakingly constructed and they are in there and implementation and enforcement so carefully in balance, the u.s. and others have some cost here, is it possible to wield this lever with that kind of fine control, given how difficult it has been to put this package together? >> i want to intrude a word from my sponsor, because this is a book on the cost and benefits of military action against iran, which we put together. that came out in the summer, and
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in december we did a similar one. we attempted to try what recommendations and to let the book speak before it's out. the notion is sanctions have been in place for 30 years. they involve the concerns over the treatment of their own citizens, in human rights terms. there are multiple purposes. they come in multiple ways. some of them have been done to the u.n. security council, and as you know, ken, you and i are speaking here is because the resolution says no enrichment. having worked in the security council, they can pass another one supporting any agreement we could reach a deal with that case, but the british parliament, there are rules about revising their position.
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the third thing is our domestic sanctions is by legislation, under the legislation, and then we have the e.u. sanctions and others that people follow mandated by the security council. the e.u. seems to be more flexible than we are, so there is operating room there. there is operating room in not putting more sanctions on the table could be helpful as an initial step. that would be important. each one of these the president would have to explain he is getting value, that the europeans to take sanctions off central banks and petroleum. that we could do things that i think are absolutely necessary. we have had a longstanding policy of not sanctioning food and medicine for good reasons, and when i was in the security council, in iraq we made them
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carefully. that got screwed up in oil for food, and i do not want to talk about that, but that was an example of how things could go wrong. the basis was the right basis and that even in the worst of all possible situations, you cannot punish the population, particularly, for the sins of their leaders, especially if they did not choose the leaders. we have a situation where we have brow-beaten the banking community to the point where they are the concern even about allowing finance for food and medicine privileges if the iranians were prepared to do that, and they have been doing that. we have given licenses over ofac feud. we created a barrier to see that consummation, and we should clearly find some banks we trust in iran who are prepared to finance that. we have to find more than one.
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we have to say we are prepared to license you banks to do the food and medicine purchases. we get over this hurdle. i for a long time have thought while it was important for us politically to punish iran by keeping it out of the energy business with pakistan and india, at some point early in the came the permission for that pipeline would be important. because two important u.s. allies are prepared to open an energy window, not the only one, but i am convinced that good pipelines make good neighbors. to some extent, while iran might benefit, there are multiple benefits for us to realize we are shooting ourselves in our own foot. there are a lot of things that want the -- here in the early stages, and that would be the
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testing time. once things work, it will be easier to convince people to take them off. i am a realist. look how long it took to take sanctions off russia, even though they were not implemented, over the jewish emigration. but how long it has taken us in some of the other venues? even after we invaded the government in iraq, we had sanctions against iraq for a long time. the congress does not move at the speed of light. that particularly is the reason why we should move. one final point on ken's important piece -- there is the question of what to do what beyond nuclear, and to some extent, the complexities are large, but we, in my view, should not close the window in
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any serious way to dealing with other questions on the agenda provided obviously nuclear gets a hearing in part, because there may be things we could do which are the equivalent of taking off sanctions in benefits in other areas that could be helpful. that would be a positive offset, even if you cannot call the sanctions off, that could help you make a nuclear deal work. i would not do that. i would not go in with it on the table, with confusing ideas and all kinds of things, but if the iranians are prepared and interested, then we should take a look at that and see what we can get. over a period of time, finding a way to expand the envelope and include other benefits in a negotiation is difficult and an option that we should have and we shall not lose sight of it. it could complement this.
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i thought you were heading there, but let me just take it there. >> it is an issue here as we talk about expanding the arena for negotiations so one could find other incentives to bring to the process. we have to get iran in the region, and the u.s. in the region, and the way these other regional dynamics, the turmoil of the arab awakening, and the conflict in syria, is shaping the environment within which these talks will take place. i wonder if you could speak to that a little from an iranian perspective and from an american perspective -- how do these regional developments play? >> potentially both sides can imagine they would be.
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the reality is they cannot. these regional events are taking place based on dynamics of their own. our ability, iran's ability, to see what is happening in syria, egypt, yemen, bahrain, is limited. there is a strong temptation in our parts to try to do so, and that is the case on the iranian's part. the reality is we all know that these countries are being driven by forces internal and inherent to themselves. it goes to the point that thomas made, which is what is going on in the region ought to give both of us more of an incentive to come to an agreement. what concerns me is if we are not able to reach an agreement, it is going to drive us to a place that will be much harder for the iranians and americans.
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on the american side, the choice is obvious, is if we do not get a deal, that we are going to face the worst choice of all, the choice between going to war with iran or living with a nuclear iran. i have my preference between the. two options, but both of those are terrible options, and the greatest incentive for coming to this kind of an agreement is that we do not have to face that, and my fear is that the very incremental thinking of i do not like this concession, that concession, is going to drive us to that ultimate choice. that is my great fear. on the iranian side, they too will have some terrible choices to make. do they go ahead and weaponize and say basically, to the entire world, we want these weapons, and we're willing to pay the price, and for them the price
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might mean becoming a north korea, which is something i do not think iranians want to become, a state that has nothing going for it but its nuclear arsenal, or the alternative is going to be making some very significant concessions that they did not seem to want to make. for both of us, if we're not wanting to make that deal, it drives us to make choices that ultimately are awful, much worse than what we could do right now. i think at the end of the day, what is going on in the turmoil in the region contribute to those points. when you think about either living with a nuclear iran or going to war with iran in the context of the turmoil, those choices are terrible, it is much worse in the context. given what is going on about the choice between nuclearization and becoming north korea make these choices more offer than they would be in other chances.
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>> obviously, we have not talked about it, and i agree with you on the military option. it is not off the table. it might be north korea on what is the negative of steroids. i do not know. the iranians do not have massive artilleries zeroed in on some nearby friendly city. we need to take that into account. on the other hand, i agree with you that iranians have a long tradition and a great interest and they want to be a power in the region, and one question we have to resolve, while we cannot dictate it, is what our role in the region will be in the future, what is their role, what our arab friends' will be, and the best possibility is going hand in hand into the sunset and everything is splendid. you could think of an organization.
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that is far down the road. the second question is that while it is nice to say there is going to be a line in our discussions with iran, if they ever get engaged, if we get into any kind of gear, between the regional to the elements and the iranian bilateral issue, number one, nuclear, but perhaps others, it will be hard to do that if the iranians think there's traction to be gained in dealing with the process.one oft being able to expand the nuclear question. the other problem is if we expand it to where we get into this mess of too-many-moving- parts situation and does that lead to a set of negotiations, which are engaged, but inconclusive, as opposed to an alternative of not being gates at all, i would rather start by being engaged. i would rather start small.
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it is important however to be open to reasonable to ad-ons, but to guard against having in fact everything has to be discussed before anything can be agreed to. those are the tasks of diplomats once they engage in the process. to some extent, one of the secrets a diplomat has is make clear to the other side very early on how you will judge the initiations. another question you have to resolve is the fundamentals. we totally distrust their commitment on not making a nuclear weapon. they totally distrust the numbers of times we have said we are not interested in pushing regime change. there are things that we could do, including for example either being willing to discuss any single event that they interpret as regime change, or set up a hotline or began in some ways to take a set of